If you’re planning to build or supervise building construction worth $10,000 and more in your own private residence, without engaging the services of a licensed contractor, you need to obtain an owner builder license or owner builder permit. Some of the building works that require you to obtain an owner builder license include, but not limited to, construction, repairs, alterations and additions to the existing structure. Basically, the permit applies to all labour and work that require Australian local council approval.

Owner Builder Process

In order to become an owner-builder in Australia, you must first obtain an approval from the Building Commission through the laid out owner builder process. You’ll be required to complete and submit an application form (either online or in person) together with an application fee. Before giving an approval an owner builder license, the Building Services Board will assess whether or not, you have sufficient knowledge of duties and responsibilities regarding owner-builder construction.

Owner Builder License Approval Timeframe

In most cases, owner builder license approval in Australia is determined within a period of 1 month. The Building Commission will notify you as soon as the determination of your application is done. Upon getting the approval, you must follow through the process of obtaining a permit from the local authority within a period of 6 months.

Eligibility Requirements for an Owner Builder License 

To eligible for owner builder license Australia, you must:

-Be at least 18 years.

-Have a current valid general construction induction training card.

-Have a Complying Development Certificate number or Council Development Application approval number.

-Have completed an approved owner-builder course if the building work is valued at more than $20,000.

-Show the building work has not started on site.

-Prove ownership of land or have a valid lease that entitles you to the land for 3 years or more.

Things to Keep In Mind When Acquiring an Owner Builder Permit

Upon obtaining your owner builder permit, you must guard the document and use it prudently. According to Australian law’s Home Building Act of 1989, it is criminal offence to hire unlicensed contractor to work on site, lend your owner builder permit to another person or refuse to disclose details of contractors on site. Committing any of these offences can attract a maximum penalty of $22,000.

As a valid owner builder license holder, you are charged with the following responsibilities:

-Overseeing and supervising all people working on site.

-Sourcing for materials and managing the building site.

-Obtaining all the necessary council certifications and authority approvals.

-Complying with all financial, tax and insurance requirements and regulations.

-Warranting that all materials used and work carried on site will result in safe dwelling.

-Ensuring all contractors engaged on site are fully licensed.