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Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice
Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice

Is the HMinfo Clearinghouse able to assist with complaints about home modification jobs?

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The HMInfo Clearinghouse does not have any authority to respond to complaints on home modification jobs.

However, the law requires a builder to meet certain obligations when they do building work. These are called:

  • 'warranties' in the Domestic Building Contracts State Act(s), and
  • consumer guarantees’ in the Australian Consumer Law.

You have rights under both laws.

Consumer guarantees and implied warranties apply by law and cannot be signed away.

All registered builders and tradespeople must have domestic building insurance for all work over a set amount (this varies from State to State though) to cover you if they die, become insolvent or disappear – this is in addition to the builder’s contractual obligations and warranties.

You can use your implied warranties to make sure your building contractor:

  • uses good workmanship
  • delivers everything listed in your contract
  • ensures everything is in working order.

To register a complaint regarding a home modification outcome you should contact the Service involved, or the funder. For instance the NSW Department of Family & Community Services - Ageing, Disability and Home Care has a Complaints procedure webpage and process for work funded by them.

For work carried out by Building contractors:


If you have not been able to resolve a problem with a business or trader you can lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading. See Resolving issues - steps to assist you resolve a problem. Alternatively, phone NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 to discuss how to lodge a complaint.


Access Canberra requires that you have written to the trader in an attempt to resolve the issue first. Your letter to the trader should be clear, factual, outline the specific timeframes for a resolution and request a written response from the trader. Include copies of proof of purchase or evidence of payment if required. The enquiry line number is 6207 3000 - Access Canberra (press option 8). You can also send your queries online using their contact form and the Advice and Complaints team will provide you with written advice.


Consumer Affairs Victoria can accept written complaints when you has made a reasonable attempt to resolve the dispute with the business or landlord. For more information, view their Resolve a dispute page or fill in the online form.


Queensland fairtrading will not investigate your complaint unless you’ve tried to resolve the issue with the business first. If this is unsuccessful you can use the online form or download and complete the paper complaint form (PDF, 120KB).


The South Australian commissioner for Consumer Affairs enforces fair-trading legislation, licences businesses and provides guidelines to traders, phone 131 882NT.


Tasmanian Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading asks that you lodge a complaint against a trader please phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 13 55 13.


The Northern Terrotory has an online consumer complaints and disputes form or you could contact the Fair Trading Office on 8999 1999 or 1800 019 319.

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