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Builder went into liquidation. We paid him in full for all…

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Hi. Builder went into liquidation...
Hi. Builder went into liquidation. We paid him in full for all works. One of the subcontractors will not issue our PS3 as he says he wasn't paid. We paid the builder in full. Can he legally withhold the PS3 from us?
Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: New Zealand Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
11/12/2017
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Chris The Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23,556
Experience: 38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Hi and welcome. I am a New Zealand lawyer from Wellington. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear

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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Is the subcontractor a licenced building contractor?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
He is the supplier of our windows. The PS3 is for the joinery. He has done the work.There were two houses. Ours and another one. There is about 25% of the account left to pay. But we both paid the builder in full. And the liquidators are dealing with the creditors.
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Where a licenced building practitioner has done something which breaches the Building Act then you can make a complaint

The Building Practitioners Board

The Building Practitioners Board (the Board) hears complaints made about the conduct of LBPs. To be able to make a complaint about an LBP you need to ensure that:

  1. The person you are complaining about was an LBP when the conduct occurred.
  2. The conduct you are complaining about should come within one or more of the ‘grounds for discipline’ listed in section 317 of the Building Act 2004. (see below)
  3. You can provide sufficient evidence to support your complaint.
  4. Your complaint is made on the approved form.

The Board cannot hear complaints regarding payment disputes; commercial or contractual disputes including employment disputes.

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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

The specific grounds that you want to consider are contained in section 317 of the Building Act which says in the relevant part –

(da) a licensed building practitioner has failed, without good reason, in respect of a building consent that relates to restricted building work that he or she is to carry out (other than as an owner-builder) or supervise, or has carried out (other than as an owner-builder) or supervised, (as the case may be),—

(i) to provide a certificate of work about any plans and specifications required to accompany the building consent application; or

(ii) to provide the persons specified in section 88(2) with a record of work, on completion of the restricted building work, in accordance with section 88(1); or

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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

So I suggest your next step might be for you and the other owner to contact the subcontractor and to suggest that he should supply the certificate, because otherwise he will be in breach of the act, and you will be able to make a complaint to the Building Practitioners Board

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
this is regardless of the fact that the builder hasn't paid the subcontractor in full?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Yes, he cannot hold the certificate for that reason

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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

The liquidation may be seen by the subcontractor as a reason for refusing the certificate, but you paid the builder and the fault lies with the builder and not you

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