Prior to commencement of any works
Information you need to know about appointing a principal certifiying authority PCA), becoming a owner builder and home warranty insurance.
Prior to commencement of any works the person having the benefit of the development consent must appoint a principal certifying authority (PCA) prior to the commencement of any building works.
- What you need to know when Council is the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)
- Becoming an Owner Builder
- Home Warranty Insurance
This information details the obiligations of Council, owners, builders and applicants when Council has been nominated as the Principal Certifying Authority.
Further information can also be obtained from the the Building Professionals Board about rights and responsibilities when building or subdividing land as well as the important role of the certifying authority.
Visit the Building Professionals Board website at www.bpb.nsw.gov.au to obtain information sheets and guides
If work is not undertaken by a licensed builder, an owner builder permit is required. An owner-builder is an individual who does owner-builder work and holds a permit for that work under the authority of a permit issued by NSW Fair Trading.
Owner-builder work is any work (including supervision and co-ordination) involved in the construction of, or alterations, repairs or additions to, a dwelling (which includes a house, terrace, town-house, garage, swimming pool and certain other structures and improvements):
where the reasonable market cost (including labour and materials) exceeds $5,000, and
which relates to a single dwelling or dual occupancy:
that requires development consent under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, or
that is a complying development within the meaning of that Act.
To get an owner-builder permit, you must lodge a completed owner-builder permit application at a Fair Trading Centre and show that:
you are over 18 years old
you own the land or have a prescribed interest in the land (certificate of title or rate notice)
you live or intend to live in the completed home or one dwelling of the dual occupancy as your principal residence.
You must also provide:
a description and address of the proposed work with a copy of the plans and council development application number or complying development certificate number
the owner-builder permit application fee
where the value of the proposed work is over $20,000, evidence that you have either completed the approved owner-builder course, or can satisfy the approved equivalent qualifications.
If you don't want the responsibility of being an owner builder, you should be wary of a builder who suggests you obtain an owner builder permit while they do all the building work for you. This may indicate the builder is avoiding responsibility, is unlicensed, or is unable to obtain the appriopiate insurance.
A register maintained by the Office of Fair Trading allows you to do home building licence checks online, visit the Office of Fair Trading online services. You should always do a licence check before entering into a contract with a builder or tradesperson and you should only deal with a licensed builder.
Further details on becoming owner builder can be obtained from the Office of Fair Trading web site.
Home warranty insurance is required to be obtained where the contract price is over $20,000 or, if the contract price is not known, the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved is over $20,000.
Home warranty insurance needs to be provided by:
- a builder or tradesperson before taking any money (including a deposit) from a home owner (including an owner-builder) under a residential building contract and before starting any work under that contract
- a ‘spec’ builder before starting any residential building work on a property owned by the builder
- a developer before entering into a contract for the sale of a property on which a builder is doing or has done residential building work for the developer
- an owner-builder (ie. a home owner who did owner-builder work under an owner-builder permit) before entering into a contract for sale of the property on which residential building was done within the previous 6 years.
Each licensed contractor (builder, tradesperson or project manager) who contracts with an owner-builder to undertake residential building works exceeding $20,000 will need to obtain home warranty insurance from an approved insurance provider for their part of work.
Contractors who carry out residential building work must still hold an appropriate licence with Fair Trading where the labour and materials involved are valued at over $1,000.
Persons who contract and/or carry out specialist work (ie. electrical wiring, plumbing, gas-fitting, air-conditioning and refrigeration) require a licence regardless of the value of the work.
Further details on Home Warranty Insurance can be obtained from the Office of Fair Trading