Builder responsibilities

Licensed builders must do or supervise building work:

Builders must operate according to:


Builders must be licensed to complete work that requires building approval.

Builders who employ or sub-contract other people to carry out building work, and other work such as electrical, plumbing and gasfitting, must make sure these people are appropriately qualified and, if required, licensed.


Builders must have a residential building insurance policy (also known as housing indemnity insurance) or a fidelity certificate, which protects the owner against defective and incomplete work.

Protection is required for:

In the ACT, insurance or a fidelity certificate provides for a maximum cover of $85,000.

The insurance or fidelity certificate will cover minor building work, such as built-in garages that form an integral part of the building, but not separate garages or carports. Builders can offer owners optional insurance for such building work if they wish.

Insurance is available through the Housing Industry Association. Fidelity certificates are available through the Master Builders Association. Builders may take out other insurance.

Consumer protection

The insurance or fidelity certificate covers:

Insurance or a fidelity certificate requires the insurer to be informed within 90 days of you becoming aware of the defect.

The insurance or fidelity certificate does not apply to a building still owned by the builder or by a developer. Insurance or a fidelity certificate begins when the title in the land is transferred to the purchaser. It expires five years after the day the certificate of occupancy is issued.

Evidence of insurance

Builders need to show evidence of their insurance to a client before providing a service. This includes advising the client if they do not have insurance.

Builders may ask the client to sign an acknowledgment that they have been told about their insurance arrangements. The acknowledgment must state the time and date it was given. If the client signs the acknowledgement, builders must immediately give them a copy.


The contract builders sign with their client must:

Find out more about building contracts.

Construction compliance

Builders should stay up-to-date with:

Notifications, inspections and approvals

Builders need to make an application for a commencement notice to their client's building certifier before they start building work. The client needs to sign this application.

The work can start once the certifier has issued the commencement notice. Builders must inform the building certifier when the work requires inspection.

More information

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