{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research and forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports and data Inspiring Australia's building professionals HOUSING The only place to get your industry news Media releases Member alerts Submissions See all
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder and manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies and tool insurance Planning and safety services Building and planning services How can HIA Safety help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan HR Docs Trusted legal support Legal advice and guidance Professional services Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials and products Concrete, bricks and walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Hear what our apprentices say Advice for parents and guardians Study with us Find a course Get your builder's licence Learn with HIA
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Mates rates What we do Mental health program Charitable Foundation GreenSmart
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Australian Housing Awards Awards program National Conference Industry networking Events Building and Renovation Home Show
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping and delivery Purchasing terms & conditions Products Building codes and standards Hard copy contracts Guides and manuals Safety and signage See all
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faTimes
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Address
Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Your legal obligations as an owner-builder in Victoria

If you are carrying out works on your home or land in Victoria, you may be an owner-builder which carries certain responsibilities and obligations you must be aware of.

Who is an owner-builder?

In Victoria, an owner-builder is someone who is responsible for the domestic building works performed on their own land. 

What works can be performed by an owner-builder?

There are certain works which an owner-builder can, and cannot, perform.  

Permitted Not permitted
Construction of new single domestic dwellings Multiple dwellings or work on non-domestic works
Alterations, renovations, additions to existing dwellings Demolition works
Completing works on a home that has been relocated Subfloor work including re-stumping or reblocking
Work on ancillary buildings and structures, including garages, carports, sheds, pools, spas, fences, pergolas and retaining walls Relocation of a home (which includes re-stumping or subfloor work)

How does someone become an owner-builder?

To be an owner-builder, you must apply to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) for a ‘Certificate of Consent’.

A Certificate of Consent is required for domestic building works valued over $16,000 and carried out on your own land. An owner-builder is required to obtain the Certificate of Consent from the VBA before carrying out domestic building work.

A Certificate of Consent will only be provided to an owner-builder if:

  • you are the owner of the land (including the director of a company or a beneficiary of a trust that owns the land);
  • the dwelling is a single dwelling;
  • you reside, or intend to reside in the dwelling;
  • you have the relevant knowledge of the duties and responsibilities upon completing the eLearning assessment and if required, the construction induction training;
  • you are not in the ‘business of building’;
  • you have not previously entered into a contract to sell the owner-built home without obtaining domestic building insurance; and
  • you were not issued with a building permit as an owner-builder in the previous 5 years.

If you have been issued with a Certificate of Consent on a dwelling you own or co-own within the previous 5 years, then you may apply for an exemption from the 5-year requirement. The VBA may determine a special circumstance such as financial hardship if the application for a Certificate of Consent were refused.

If you fail to obtain a Certificate of Consent for the domestic building work, the VBA can issue a fine.

When don’t I need Certificate of Consent as an owner-builder?

You do not require a Certificate of Consent if:

  • the building works is not domestic building work;
  • the total cost of work is $16,000 or less;
  • you are a registered building practitioner engaged to oversee the works;
  • the works carried out are in accordance with an emergency order, building notice of a building order; or
  • you are either a builder who is authorised to carry out that type of work, a registered architect or the Director.

Responsibilities of an owner-builder

Owner-builders have several duties and responsibilities, including some obligations which last for several years. Responsibilities may include:

  • Obtaining a Certificate of Consent (if required).
  • Obtaining and complying with the building permit.
  • Supervising or undertaking the building works.
  • Ensuring the works meet building regulations and standards.
  • Notifying the VBA if the estimated cost of works has increased at the end of the project.
  • Complying with Occupational Health and Safety laws.
  • Rectifying any defective building work.
  • Obtaining appropriate insurance policies if you sell the owner-built home.

Working with other tradespeople

As an owner-builder, you will undertake all or a part of the building works yourself. You can also contract some works to licenced tradespeople or registered builders to supervise or carry out some of the works. You must notify the building surveyor the details of each tradesperson that you have engaged throughout the project.

If you require a registered builder to complete works valued over $10,000, you must enter into a major domestic building contract.

If an owner-builder has engaged you to supervise or carry out some domestic building work, please refer to HIA’s information sheet on 'Performing work for an owner-builder.'

Share with your network:

More articles on:

{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Find guides, how-tos, resources and more