State Administrative Tribunal

Building Disputes

SAT can review some decisions of the Building Commission, and the Building Commissioner also can refer matters to SAT. The Building Commission will advise the parties if your complaint is referred to SAT.

In addition to reviews and referrals, the following orders can be reviewed by SAT:

  • Interim Order
  • Building Remedy Order
  • Home Building Work Contract Order
  • an order for costs

You can view the applications page for more information on the different types of applications.

Please note that the Building Disputes Tribunal (BDT) no longer receives applications to review building decisions, and the BDT’s jurisdiction was transferred to the Building Commission and SAT in August 2011.

How long do I have to apply to SAT?

An application to SAT must be made within 28 days from the Building Commissioner's order or decision. If this time has already elapsed, you may make application to SAT to seek an extension of time to lodge the application. This is at the discretion of SAT.

How does SAT handle building disputes?

There are several procedures for building matters which are different to other commercial and civil matters:

  • The documents relevant to the proceedings are handled differently. SAT will prepare copies of a hearing book containing the relevant documents filed with SAT by the parties. The parties may collect a copy of the hearing book up to three days prior to the hearing. See Standard Orders 101 to 105 for more information.
  • SAT can request the parties file a ‘Scott Schedule’ to clarify the issues in dispute.

For more information, see the information below and the list of standard orders.

Also, be aware that it is possible that a single set of facts may trigger a series of parallel processes. The Building Commissioner and/or SAT may make remedy orders to fix unsatisfactory work, a permit authority under the Building Act 2011 may take action for failure to obtain or comply with a relevant permit, and the Building Services Board may take disciplinary action for a person doing work without being registered in the appropriate category or level, or for inappropriate conduct.

What is a Scott Schedule?

A Scott Schedule is a document which helps to clarify the issues in dispute. In short, the parties list each complaint, with the applicant’s and the respondent’s position next to each item. This can find areas of agreement, and also allows the items to be addressed in a more orderly fashion. Scott Schedules are a common method of streamlining building disputes, due to the large number of items usually addressed in the application.

The list of standard orders provides details of how to draft a Scott Schedule for different types of building disputes - see standard orders 85 to 91. The Schedule can be in any format that complies with SAT’s orders, but an example Scott Schedule and a template Scott Schedule are provided for convenience.

Can I appeal SAT’s decision?

There are some situations in which an internal review of a SAT decision is available. There is a pamphlet which provides a Guide for the Conduct of Internal Reviews.

Last updated: 13-Apr-2017

[ back to top ]