Published: 2014-04-15


Can you advise on what a 5 year latent defect would cover under a JBCC.
I'm not a fundi with this type of contact, the reason for the question is that every now and then you would have 1 out of 10 clients that will phone you and advise that the kitchen counter has a crack in it or something to that effect and then they expect us to come out and do repairs. 
Another instant for example was 2 years after a refurb / extension the client experience a little water coming through the glazing due to the window putty that has perished etc.
On waterproofing for example I understand that you need to provide a 5 year guarantee, not sure if this extends to all waterproofing jobs or only new roofs / projects?


A latent defect is a defect which was not able to be reasonably indentified by the Principal Agent when drawing up a defects list.
All latent defects have to be proven – therefore proof of contractor negligence during the construction phase has to be clearly identified and proven. For example large cracks developing after three years and on inspection of the foundations by a structural engineer he finds that the foundation thickness is .150 and not .230 !!
A visible crack anywhere in the walls/ kitchen counter etc is not a latent defect unless it can be proven that the defect was the result of  failure of the structure due to poor workmanship which could not be identified at time of completion.   
glazing due to the window putty that has perished etc  is not a latent defect neither is it a patent defect.

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