Sep 19, 2019 8:29 pm
We're building a Liberty with Metricon (first time building, and no building industry experience), and it's not been the best experience, to be honest.
We are so close to being done, but it is really dragging on. I wanted to ask others about their timeframes from PCI to handover, to check what is the usual experience.
We had our PCI walkthrough on 26 July - almost 8 weeks ago.
Now that I look back, I think they rushed this through so they could stop the 'construction clock', because there were still lots of things not done - eg our balcony door wasn't fitted, our rear garage door had no lock, no carpets, no air conditioning etc.
We still haven't got our keys. I can't get anyone to give me any firm dates for when the remaining items will be completed (rangehood installed, a door needs to be changed over, one door is green so I guess it needs painting...), I can't get any firm date for handover.
Is this a normal experience? I have tried being patient, I have tried bugging them, I have today written a formal complaint letter to them, and I guess I'm considering lodging a complaint with the Department of Fair Trading as 8 weeks and no keys post PCI seems unreasonable.
Any advice anyone? Why does this have to be so hard - we pay our invoices (only one left for about $96k), we've done everything Metricon have asked, and they just seem to be taking advantage.
Re: Advice needed re time from PCI to handover2
Sep 21, 2019 8:29 am
I feel you - we are a month after PCI and looks like another 2 weeks more until handover (though I'll believe it when I see it).
So incredibly frustrating.
Things are happening but soooo slowly.
We're not with Metricon but another builder.
Always got the impression it was generally only 2 weeks from PCI to handover, but perhaps that is just best case scenario?
Would be great to hear some other people's experiences with that timeframe.
Fingers crossed that you (and we) are in soon!
Re: Advice needed re time from PCI to handover3
Sep 21, 2019 2:00 pm
We are currently building under an 'MBA' contract - so not sure if they are all the same? - but when our builder calls for Practical Completion, it is only technical classified under that status, if, the works have been completed in accordance with the Plans and Specifications.
If they have not then the 'construction clock' cannot stop at that stage. If there are defects discovered however, that do not impede your ability to occupy the house, then Practical Completion can be reached and the builder has the period stated within the 'Defects Warranty Period' to rectify those agreed defects.
So I'm confused as to how builders believe they can simply call Practical Completion with works still outstanding. I also believe you need to be provided the final Occupancy Certificate as part of technically reaching Practical Completion.
Interested in what your contract definition of Completion states?
Check our Homeone build blog here
Re: Advice needed re time from PCI to handover5
Sep 22, 2019 11:34 am
Clause 21.3A of your Metricon HIA contract says you are obliged to make the final progress claim payment when practical completion is reached. Metricon’s terms require payment within 5 days. If you disagree that practical completion has been reached you need to formally dispute this, per the procedure detailed in the contract. They won’t organise handover until the final payment has been made. It should only take Metricon a few weeks at most to organise the outstanding items you mentioned. If you make the final payment per the contract and they unreasonably delay your handover causing you additional costs like extra rent you may be able to claim damages for these costs. The liquidated damages ‘clock’ in the HIA contract stops at PCI (unless there are special conditions) therefore your ability to claim reasonable damages after this is unlimited. In Sydney for example your rent will probably be around $1,000 per week. Also make sure you are communicating appropriately with Metricon, per clause 23.1. I suggest you consult a lawyer and put some pressure on Metricon to confirm when they can complete and deliver your home and help you get your records and file dates in order in case you need to go to NCAT later. Going to Fair Trading will take time and they will only organise a mediation, then make a completion order, which in my case Metricon breached anyway, however this step is a pre requisite for any subsequent NCAT action. You should only do this if Metricon do not respond appropriately. Is there any reason like earlier disputed defects or mistakes why Metricon are delaying handover and putting you under this financial and emotional pressure? Check and follow the contract procedures carefully to ensure you are not in breach. Like I was, you are a new player dealing with experts at this game.
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