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Compliance information for kitchen and bathroom businesses

In Western Australia, in most circumstances, only a registered building contractor may enter into contracts with others to carry out building work valued at over $20,000. However, building work of a non-structural nature would generally not require a building permit, which means it could be carried out by someone who is not a registered builder.

In this article

  • What licence do I need?
  • Frequently asked questions regarding licences

What licence do I need? 

Whether you need to be a registered building contractor to carry out kitchen and bathroom work will depend on: 

  • the value of the work, and 
  • whether the works will involve structural work (with the consequence that a building permit is required).

A registered building contractor can be an individual, partnership or company. 

Partnerships and companies are required to have at least one nominated supervisor who is registered as a ‘building practitioner’ and who will manage and supervise the building work undertaken. 

Application forms and information about the registration process for becoming a building contractor or ‘building practitioner’ can be obtained by visiting the Building Commission website.

Frequently asked questions regarding licences

What if I want to get an equivalent licence in another state or territory? 

Mutual recognition is available for some licensees from other states or territories.

Do I need to have a written contract? 

You must have a written contract that complies with the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 (WA) and which is signed and dated by the parties if you are entering into a ‘home building work contract’, being a contract for the performance of ‘home building work’ or ‘associated work’, where the value of the contract is between $7500 and $500,000 (excluding cost plus contracts). 

Home building and/or associated work extends to erecting a new home or making improvements, alterations or additions to an existing home including cabinetry or tiling work for a kitchen or bathroom. 

The Act regulates contracts with any person undertaking home building or associated work for a homeowner, including owner-builders. It excludes contracts between trades/subcontractors and a builder. 

HIA has a range of contracts available that comply with the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 (WA). 

What rules apply to advertising? 

When a licensed corporation, partnership or individual advertises their construction service, they need to include in the advertisement their name as recorded on their licence, their licence number and for a corporation its ABN or ACN number. 

Do I need to register a business name if I want to trade under another name? 

If you are an individual, you need to register a business if you trade under a name that isn’t your own. 

If you are a registered company, you need to register your business name if it is different from your registered company name. 

What about home indemnity insurance?

If you are a registered building contractor undertaking residential building work valued at $20,000 or more the law requires that you take out a policy of Home Indemnity Insurance. This is designed to protect the homeowner from loss resulting from non-completion of the residential building work by reason of the insolvency or death of the builder, or if the builder goes missing. 

You must take out this policy before accepting any payment (including a deposit) or obtaining a building permit from the relevant local government permit authority. 

What about general construction induction training? 

Under occupational health and safety legislation there is a general employer duty to ensure that employees have the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to enable them to perform their work in a manner that is safe and without risk to their health. 

Further, the legislation sets out mandatory requirements for the provision of construction safety induction training for those involved in the construction industry. It is a requirement that all employers ensure that every employee has received adequate training and that such training involves three levels of induction: 

  • General construction industry OHS training
  • Work activity based training
  • Site specific training. 

HIA offers training courses that cover the risks and occupational health and safety topics relevant to working on construction sites. 

What if I am going to be handling asbestos? 

You must be licensed to remove any amount of friable asbestos. Under 10m2 of bonded (non- friable) asbestos can be removed without a licence. Removal of over 10m2 must be removed by a license holder). A licence is valid for three years. 

There are two classes of asbestos removalists: 

  • Unrestricted, which allows people to remove all forms of asbestos (friable and non-friable)
  • Restricted, which allows people to remove amounts exceeding 10m2 of bonded (non-friable) asbestos. 

Bonded asbestos is asbestos in a form where the asbestos fibres are held within another material (for example, cement), but does not include friable asbestos. 

Friable asbestos is asbestos, whether or not contained in other material that is crumbly, dusty or powdery, or when dry can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand. Examples of friable asbestos are sprayed asbestos coating or insulation, asbestos lagging, loose asbestos and in its raw form. Anyone requiring additional information about this issue should contact their HIA Workplace Advisor. 

To find out more, contact HIA's Contracts and Compliance team

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