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Under most building contracts, the builder controls the site until practical completion. During the construction period a builder is usually responsible for theft, vandalism or other damage that occurs on the site. A builder may be able to claim on its insurance policy or may absorb the cost, depending on the amount involved.

If your house has not reached practical completion, the builder’s liability seems fairly clear cut.  However where the matter may become “muddy” is that sometimes builders organise the delivery of white goods after practical completion has been achieved and the owners have taken possession of the home.

This is to overcome the problem of theft and vandalism of white goods which have been installed in vacant homes. On many occasions these goods disappear overnight when they are installed without anyone living in the home.

If you have taken possession and agreed that practical completion has occurred, the liability for damage to your home during the delivery of these goods may not be the builder’s problem and you may be left with the repair bill.

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