Frank*, aged 70, hired a contractor to paint his roof in July 2017. Frank realised the work was defective about six months later and contacted the contractor. When Frank couldn’t resolve the complaint with the contractor, he lodged a complaint in September 2018 with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). The QBCC acknowledged that the work was defective, but concluded Frank was out of time to request that the QBCC direct the contractor to rectify the work.
During the February 2019 monsoonal trough, Frank’s roof leaked. He lodged an insurance claim. Frank’s insurer rejected his claim. The insurer relied on the fact that the roof paint had peeled as evidence that there were maintenance issues with Frank’s property.
Frank drew on his superannuation to pay for a new roof. He also decided to go back to work as a casual truck driver. Frank’s wife also decided to stay at work instead of retiring as planned.
Townsville Community Law Flood Legal Assistance Service wrote to the QBCC to clarify the time limitations that resulted in their refusal to issue a direction. They then helped Frank to prepare submissions to the insurer’s Internal Dispute Resolution department, outlining the attempts he had made to maintain his property.
Frank has since been successful in receiving a partial insurance settlement. Frank said that the Flood Legal Assistance Service’s helped him by letting him know that legal help was available and where to access it. He also said that it helped decrease his stress and anxiety, and improved his ﬁnancial wellbeing.
(*not their real name)