Accidentally, incidentally or indirectly sidestepping the 10-year limitation period for building actions
Introduction Victoria and New South Wales both have a 10-year limitation period for building actions. However, the 10-year limitation period has differing scopes of operation in each state.
In Victoria, under s 134 of the Building Act 1993 (Building Act Vic), the limitation period runs for a period of 10 years from the date of issue of an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection, and is intended to cover all causes of action that are “building actions”.1 It is intended to replace the 6-year limitation period for tort and contract which runs from when the cause of action accrues. In contract, the cause of action accrues when the contract is breached; in tort, particularly pure economic loss, the cause of action accrues when the damage becomes manifest. The 10-year “replace-ment” limitation period in the Building Act Vic addresses the mischief where, because of the different operation of the 6-year limitation periods in contract and tort, a builder or building professional might face indetermi-nate liability for negligence and an owner might dis-cover the damage after the cause of action in contract expires.
Accidentally, incidentally or indirectly sidestepping the 10-year limitation period for building actions Download