Building & Property Disputes Lawyer

Building & Construction

Brockhill & Usherwood are experts in building defect disputes and construction contracts. Whether you are a builder or consultant or an owner with defects in your dwelling or strata complex, book an appointment today as time limitations apply to claims and notification to insurers. 

  • Building defect disputes
  • Water Act claims
  • DBDRV and VCAT
  • Owners corporation disputes
  • Property disputes.

Building Defect Disputes

If you are building professional who is faced with proceedings or you discover defects in your apartment or house you need to obtain advice fast because time limitations apply to claims. Further, disputes related to strata properties have the added complexity of common property.

You will usually need to engage building experts to inspect and report on exactly what has occurred at your property. A building expert should be independently engaged by a lawyer and Brockhill & Usherwood regularly instruct experts and have a extensive contacts in the building industry to help to assess the cause of issue at your property.

Water Act Claims

Brockhill & Usherwood regularly act in Water Act claims. These relate to water travelling from one property to another and often relate to apartment complex disputes. 

In Victoria, there is legislative protection in the Water Act 1989 (Vic) under section 16. Section 16(1) holds a person liable where this flow of water is “not reasonable” such that it causes property damage, personal injury or economic loss. If your property has suffered water damage in this way, we are able to assist you by taking your claim to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

If you have suffered property damage due to the flow of water, contact us today to discuss your potential claim.


When a domestic building dispute arises in Victoria, it may proceed to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) but only after a certificate is issued at the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV).

DBDRV is an independent government agency designed to resolve domestic building disputes between homeowners and builders.

If you are considering making an application to DBDRV you should understand your legal rights before conciliation. Further, there may be opportunities to negotiate informally or there may be urgency to move swiftly from DBDRV to VCAT, for example if a time limit expiry is approaching.

VCAT hears a variety of building disputes in the Building and Property List. This covers disputes involving property owners, engineers, architects, surveyors, builders and subcontractors.

We can help you to find the right avenue through which to make your claim.

Owners Corporations

In Victoria, owners corporations which are commonly referred to as a body corporate or strata corporations are governed under the Owners Corporation Act 2006 (Vic) and the Owners Corporations Regulations 2007. The legislation provides rules for a range of matters related to owners corporations. Including annual general meetings, procedures at meeting, committees and managers, insurance and various other areas.

If you own property which is part of a strata title you automatically become part of an owners corporation.

Under section 162 of the Act the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal may hear and determine disputes related to owners corporations.

At Brockhill & Usherwood we understand strata, body corporate management and owners corporation matters. Since the Act was first introduced there has been an explosion in strata living in Victoria. There has also been many building defect issues, water problems and owners corporation disputes. These can be complicated due to the various parties involved and the issue of common property and lot owner property.

We act for lot owners, strata mangers, builders and other parties and we have deep understanding of the disputes and how to resolve them. We have acted in relation to many strata insurance matters, water ingress as well as in defect disputes.

Property Disputes Lawyer

We often act in various types of property-related disputes including in relation to leases, sale of land, boundary and neighbour disputes. Contact us today to understand how we can assist you. 

If you have a dispute or concerns with your property, contact us today.


I am very happy with Blair’s strategic, well-thought-out and carefully considered advice and methodical approach. He is an ethical and caring lawyer who gets things done. I have no hesitation in recommending him.