Separating building contracts from agreements to appoint a building certifier
From 1 October 2019, a new regulation will help consumers by separating the contract for building work from authorising someone to act on the owners' behalf in relation to the building certifier. Read more...
Unless building work is exempt from requiring a building approval, a building certifier must be appointed for the building work.
A building certifier must hold a building surveyor licence for the class of building and not have a legal, financial or personal interest in the land or the completion of the building work.
A building certifier’s functions include:
- deciding applications for building approval
- deciding applications for commencement notices
- conducting inspections at specified stages of building work, including requesting and verifying tests for the building work and giving directions to builders in relation to non-compliant work
- notifying the Construction Occupations Registrar about suspected contraventions of building law
- issuing stop notices if appropriate
When you build or renovate as a land owner it is your responsibility to appoint the building certifier – not the builder’s. While you can authorise someone else to appoint the certifier, you are within your legal right to choose and appoint your own building certifier.
There are regulatory fees for certification.
During construction, your building certifier must undertake inspections of building work at the completion of each of the following stages:
- completion of excavation, placement of formwork and placement of steel reinforcing for the footings before any concrete for the footings is poured
- for a house and/or non-habitable building (class 1 or class 10 building), completion of the structural framework and, before the placement of any internal lining
- for a house and/or non-habitable building, completion of placement of formwork, and placement of steel reinforcing, for any reinforced concrete member before any concrete for the member is poured
- for other building classes, completion of any reinforced concrete member before any concrete for the member is poured, stated by the building certifier in the relevant building approval
- for all classes, completion of the building work approved in the relevant building approval
An extra inspection will be made during construction for two storey homes before the second storey slab is poured.
Your builder must inform the certifier when the work requires inspection.
There are also mandatory ACT Government inspections for electrical and plumbing work which the relevant construction practitioners will organise.
Completion of work
On satisfactory completion of the building work, your certifier will issue a certificate of completion. You will then need to apply for a certificate of occupancy or use before you can occupy or use the building.
If things go wrong
In the unfortunate situation where there is a dispute between you and your builder or other professional, there are options for you to resolve your dispute or make a complaint.
You do not need to wait until the project is finished to make a complaint or try to resolve any problems. Not addressing problems when they arise can make the problem worse, and possibly harder and more expensive to resolve later.
Find out about:
Contact us for more information.