Posted by LNA Master Landscapers Association
on 21 January 2016
Australian Law regarding consumers can be an extremely confusing subject to grasp, this subject is made even more complex when it comes to all things landscaping. When you deliver a product or service it comes with an automatic guarantee that it will work and do what the Consumer asked for. An important fact to remember is that all businesses must provide this automatic guarantee regardless of any other warranties you offer.
Consumers throughout Australia are guaranteed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 that all products or services they purchase are of acceptable quality. This means that products must have no faults, be safe, as well as do all the things a Consumer would normally expect them to do. Providers of services such as landscaping must complete their service with acceptable levels of care, skill and technical knowledge. Additionally, all necessary steps must be taken to avoid causing loss or damage and to ensure that the results achieved are what was agreed to with the Consumer.
However, not only the rights of Consumers are enshrined under Australian Consumer Law; Contractors are also covered under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Contractors are protected from liability if they deliver what was asked for but a Consumer simply changes their mind, finds the product or service cheaper elsewhere, decide they do not want the product anymore after purchasing and using it, or have misused the product or service in any way that causes a problem. Contractors are also protected if they make the purchaser aware of any faults prior to the purchase or where a Consumer asks for a service to be done in a certain way, against the advice of provider.
The LNA recommends that all members use an LNA contract that is designed to protect all parties. In particular, Clause 23 of the Landscape Works Agreement stipulates a non-liability clause for Landscape Contractors for plants, turf or other horticultural materials unless a maintenance plan is developed, implemented and followed correctly. This provides specific protection to Landscape Contractors and is a vital resource to have for your business. It provides peace of mind that you and your business are covered by an authoritative, legally binding contract.
To find out more about your rights and responsibilities under Australian Consumer Law, please click here