What types of owner builder work need registration?
If an owner builder intends to carry out any domestic or commercial building work that requires a building permit and exceeds $5,000, then that owner builder needs to be registered. This work includes alterations or extensions to a building. Your building surveyor must apply to the Director for a registration number.
What types of owner builder work are exempt from registration?
• work that does not need a building permit from the council
• work is $5,000 or less (cost of labour and materials)
• work on any Class 10 buildings or structures (e.g. non habitable buildings such as garages, carports, sheds etc.)
Are you eligible to act as an owner builder?
Since the Building Act 2000 commenced on 1 July 2004, intending owner builders have had to meet certain conditions to be eligible:
• you must own the land on which you intend to build;
• you must not be in the business of building;
• you may not construct more than two buildings of any class except Class 10 in a ten year period, not including any you may have built prior to the commencement of the Act;
• you must sign an Owner Builder Declaration (Form 34) that you meet the above conditions and that you have read and understood the Owner Builder information and guidelines contained in this Kit;
• you must engage the services of an accredited building surveyor who will obtain confirmation from the Director of Building Control that you are eligible to act as an owner builder prior to issuing you with a certificate of likely compliance for your project.
Owner builders cannot do any work for which an occupational licence is required – this means any electrical or plumbing work. A licensed asbestos removalist must also do large asbestos removal jobs. Owner builders cannot do this type of work and a licensed contractor must carry it out – otherwise the owner builder can be prosecuted.
Responsibilities of owner builders for 10 years
An owner builder has a responsibility for up to 10 years for latent defects that may be found in a building from the date the occupancy permit was granted. Because they were the responsible builder they may be sued for damages in a civil action. This duty of care can extend to subsequent owners of the building, even if the owner builder did not have a contractual relationship with them.