Conduct proper checks before taking on another builders/owners works
February 27, 2019
Sometimes HIA hears about licensed builders finding out that building approval documents (such as a building permit) have without their consent or knowledge named them as builders for a project.
This can happen for a number of reasons.
One common scenario is the owner who wants to be an owner builder but cannot obtain the necessary authorisation and needs a licence number.
Another common scenario is the owner who decides that engaging the builder to complete all the work is too expensive and only engages the builder to complete some work and otherwise engages unlicensed people to complete other work or does it themselves.
In both cases the builder’s licence is effectively being “borrowed” and used to obtain permission to carry out the building work not completed by the licensed builder.
This means that to the outside world, and particularly future owners of the property and the government, it looks like the licensed builder is responsible for all the building work.
This problem may become apparent when the builder is asked to sign a Form 71A – Standard of Work Certificate – for a building project.
If this happens the builder will need to make sure that their certificate is clearly limited to the building work they have completed and the building surveyor or council advised in writing to seek Form 71As from other people who worked on the site.
It is then the owner and building surveyor’s problem to get these other forms.
If a builder is incorrectly identified on a building approval document as being responsible for work they have not agree to undertake or have completed then the builder should seek legal advice on their options.
For further information please call 1300 650 620 to speak with the legal department.