Owner Builder Information

If you choose to construct your own development and not use a licensed builder, under certain circumstances you must first apply to obtain an 'Owner/Builders' Permit. These permits are issued by the Department of Fair Trading, subject to various conditions. Further information is available on the Department of Fair Trading website.

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the obtaining of an Owner/Builder are identified below.

Do I need to obtain an Owner/Builder's Permit if I am only doing a minor development?

If the total value of the work that you are going to complete does not exceed $10,000, then an Owner/Builders Permit is not required, and subject to Council's development consent and Council issuing a construction certificate, construction can commence.

What if the total value of my work DOES exceed $10,000?

If the total value of your work is greater than $10,000, yet does not exceed $20,000, the owner must make an application to the Department of Fair Trading to obtain an Owner/Builder permit. Alternatively, a licensed builder must be engaged with an appropriate contract signed. Details of the licensed builder or a copy of the Owner/Builders permit must be provided to Council before construction can commence.

What if the total value of my work is greater than $20,000?

If the total cost of work exceeds $20,000, to become an Owner/Builder, you first have to enrol in an appropriate Owner/Builders course recognised by the Department of Fair Trading. These courses are run through approved providers and TAFE. Information regarding approved providers is available from the Department of Fair Trading website. Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate will be issued, which must be forwarded with your application for an Owner/Builders permit to the Department of Fair Trading. The Department will then issue the Owner/Builder's permit and permit number.

It is noted that if any contractor is engaged for work greater than $20,000 they must provide the owner builder with Home Owners Warranty Insurance for the value of their work.

What does the Owner/Builder course involve?

This course is equivalent to 8 hours of classroom attendance. The maximum time allowed to complete the course is one year. At the completion of this course, students will have gained an awareness and knowledge of the legal and supervisory responsibilities to undertake construction of alterations or additions to their own building project.

What are the course entry requirements?

This course is open to anyone who needs to apply for an owner-builders licence or who is interested in gaining an understanding of the legal and supervisory responsibilities to undertake construction or alterations or additions to their own building projects.

Students must be 18 years old or over before starting the course.

Note: An owner-builder permit will only be issued to an owner of the land (ie their name appears on Council rate notice). For unusual circumstances please refer your situation to the Department of Fair Trading.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Fair Trading or alternatively, Council's Planning Department.