Separating building contracts from agreements to appoint a building certifier

Appointing a certifier and applying for building approvals is the land owner's responsibility and right.

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.

From 1 October 2019, new contracts for building a house or for work with a value over $12,000 on an existing house or apartment will not be able to include clauses that allow the builder or another person to appoint or revoke the appointment of a building certifier, or act as the agent of the owner in dealing with a building certifier appointed for the work, including applying for the building approval.

The regulation also covers work on some non-residential parts of an apartment building, like common areas managed by the owners’ corporation.

The types of work covered by the regulation align with work that requires a statutory warranty under the Building Act.

The regulation does not prevent people from authorising their builder or someone else to appoint the certifier, or apply for the approval, if they want to. If they do, a standard format of agreement will be released in the coming months that includes information on the role of the building certifier and the owner's related rights and obligations to help owners make an informed decision.

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