Changes to Building Laws - Consumer Alert - September 2016
As a fully registered and Insured Building Practitioner, Ashley stays up to date with the latest building regulations and rules on building a new home or renovating existing ones. The Industry is in the process of being overhauled and we applaud the State Government for getting tougher on those unqualified tradespeople building illegally and undercutting those who work hard to stay registered, insured and qualified to carry out building works. Those signing up consumers as "owner builders" will from September face serious fines for carrying out work without registration and without proper notification to the VBA.
From 1 September 2016, builders entering into a major domestic building contract will be required to provide owners with a Domestic Building Consumer Guide approved by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) before the contract is signed.
The Consumer Guide provides information to owners of their rights and responsibilities, the role of the builder and the requirement that the owner appoint the building surveyor.
The CAV check list that must be included in all major domestic building contracts has also been updated to ensure that the appointment of the building surveyor is done so by the owner. You should not enter in to a contract without the owner first appointing the building surveyor.
Builders must give owners a copy of the Consumer Guide and the owner should complete the check list prior to entering into a major domestic building contract.
HIA is currently in the process of amending its standard contracts to include the Consumer Guide and updated check list.
For further information about the Consumer Guide and the checklist, and to obtain copies of these documents, please visit the CAV website at:
Other changes from 1 September 2016
A number of other changes from the Bill will commence from 1 September 2016. These include:
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) being responsible for the registration of builders, replacing the Building Practitioners Board.
Builders will need to renew their builders’ registration every 5 years.
A new show cause process for disciplining builders will be implemented which gives the VBA the power to immediately suspend builders for serious misconduct.
From 4 July 2016 the VBA's inspection powers will be extended to include owner-built sites. The powers include:
- entering land and/or dwellings under certain circumstances to examine work for compliance
- requiring a person (including an owner-builder) to produce certain documents on request
- making copies of documents
- requiring a person (including an owner-builder) to provide certain information on request.
The new domestic building dispute conciliation process is not expected to commence until early 2017. This reform will include powers for dispute resolution orders to be given by a government official to resolve the dispute.
For further information please contact your Workplace Adviser
on 1300 650 620