Requirements for Owner Builders Smoke Alarms/Detectors
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Construction in Bush Fire areas Swimming Pool and Spa Fencing

Part 4 of the Building Regulations 2006

Protection of Adjoining Properties
Requirements for Owner Builders (Applicable for Domestic Building Work)

The following information is intended to assist those who intend to carry out, manage or arrange building work as an Owner/Builder.

As an Owner Builder you need to be aware of the following information:

1. Any non exempt* person who undertakes building work on your behalf to a value exceeding $12,000 (inclusive of materials) is required to be a Registered Building Practitioner and to carry the appropriate Insurance. The Owner Builder is required to provide to the Relevant Building Surveyor the name, category/class and Building Practitioners’ number of all persons who undertake building work where the value exceeds $12,000. (Section 136(2) Building Act 1993 – maximum penalty of $10,000 for natural person & $50,000 for Body Corporate; Section 176(2A) Building Act 1993 – maximum penalty of $10,000).

2. An Owner Builder is required to enter into a written Domestic Building Contract with certain non exempt* tradespersons including Carpenters, Bricklayers, Concreters, roof tilers, cabinet makers/kitchen companies, Re-stumpers, re-roofers and bathroom renovators where the value of their building works is in excess of $12,000. These tradespersons are required to be Registered Building Practitioners with the Building Practitioners Board and provide the appropriate Warranty Insurance for their component of the building work.

3. If an Owner Builder sells the building within 6.0 years of the date of completion, that is, the issue of an Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection in respect of this building work, they are required to:
i) obtain an inspection Report for the building work carried out (prepared by a Prescribed Practitioner not more than six months before entering into a contract to sell the building) listing the details of the building work, conditions , defects, incomplete work, etc and,

ii) The Owner is required to take out an appropriate Insurance Policy for the benefit of the purchaser. (Obtain the Prescribed Warranty Insurance cover for the building work, which will cover the time remaining of the six years, which commences from the date of completion of the building work). (Section 137B Building Act 1993 – maximum penalty $10,000).

4. An Owner Builder must have the necessary knowledge and experience to act as an Owner/Builder.

5. An Owner Builder must not have any other person apart from him/her self to supervise or manage the building work.

6. After the issue of a Building Permit, the Owner Builder is required to notify the Relevant Building Surveyor in writing within 14 days after any change in the name or address of the Owner or of any Builder carrying out the building work. (Regulation 319 Building Regulations 2006 – maximum penalty of $1,000).

7. After the issue of a Building Permit, an Owner Builder is responsible to notify the Relevant Building Surveyor without delay after the completion of each mandatory notification stage of that work. (Section 33(1) Building Act 1993 – maximum penalty of $1,000).

8. If an Owner Builder sells the building within 6.0 years of the date of issue of an Occupancy Permit or the Certificate of Final Inspection, the Contract of Sale must include details of the aforementioned Inspection Report and Insurance Policy. As well, an Insurance Policy in the name of the Purchaser (in the case of an auction – subject to completion of the name of the successful Purchaser) indemnifying the Purchaser against all losses and damage during the period of insurance which result from:
i) any breach of the implied warranties;
ii) alternative accommodation, removal and / or storage costs reasonably associated and necessarily incurred as a result of any event under (i);
iii) all domestic building work was carried out in a proper and workmanlike manner;
iv) all materials used in the domestic building work were good and suitable for the purpose they were used, and unless otherwise stated, those materials were new; and
v) all domestic building work was carried out in accordance with all laws and legal requirements.
vi) all domestic building work was carried out in accordance with all laws and legal requirements.

*Exempt Contractors List

Pursuant to Regulation 4 of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 1996, the following works are exempt from the requirements of registration and Warranty Insurance under the Building Act 1993, where they are undertaken under a single contract only (that is in isolation from other types of work):

Attaching external fixtures, Plumbing and drainage work, Electrical work, glazing, installing floor coverings, insulating, painting, plastering, wall and floor tiling.

It should be also noted that Plumbers and Electricians are required to be licensed under separate legislation and are required to provide Compliance Certificates for all work undertaken, or over $500 for plumbing.

From 14 June 2005 new domestic ‘Owner-Builder’ laws are introduced in Victoria. An Owner-Builder is defined as a person who constructs or renovates a domestic building, on his or her own land, and who is not in the business of building.

From 14 June 2005 ‘Owner-Builders’:
· Must obtain a Certificate of Consent from the Building Practitioners Board in order to obtain a Building Permit to carry out domestic building work valued over $12,000;
· May only obtain Building Permits for a single Dwelling and associated work on a single property in any three-year period;
· Must reside and continue to reside, or intend to reside in the single Dwelling.

In order to obtain a Certificate of Consent, all Owner-Builders must contact the Building Practitioners Board, and make the relevant application. You can contact the Building Practitioners Board (Building Commission) on 9285 6400 or otherwise see their website for more details.

Useful Websites:
Consumer Affairs Victoria – Building & Renovation
1300 558 181

Building Commission
(03) 92856 400

The information provided regarding the requirements for Owner Builders are intended to be used as a guide or interpretation only and cannot be used for legal purposes.