Owner-builders require the Building Practitioners Board’s consent. Permits are issued by building surveyors, who inspect work and issue the occupancy certificate. Architects are useful for planning. The Bushfire Building Standard applies in bushfire-prone areas. Building contracts imply warranties over the quality of workmanship and materials. Limits exist on progress payments. Home warranty insurance offers limited cover. Check your builder has public liability insurance. Definitions vary for the finish date or completion of works. Wrongfully terminating a contract may make the consumer liable for damages to the builder. The Building Advice and Conciliation Service Victoria can help with complaints about builders. The Domestic Building List of VCAT hears disputes and may require compulsory conferences. VCAT may award costs.


Mark Attard

Partner, Clyde & Co.

Where to get help

Last updated

1 July 2021

Cladding Safety Victoria

Cladding Safety Victoria is a Victorian Government program that works to reduce the risk associated with combustible cladding on residential apartment buildings. 

Cladding Safety Victoria
Tel: 1300 456 542
Email: support@claddingsafety.vic.gov.au
Web: www.vic.gov.au/cladding-safety

Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria

The Victorian Government agency, the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) commenced operating on 26 April 2017. This service replaced the Building Advice and Conciliation Victoria (BACV). The DBDRV helps to resolve domestic (residential) building disputes. DBDRV’s services are free. The DBDRV is a heavily engaged service and consumers should anticipate delays in the processing of their dispute.

Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria
Tel: 1300 557 559
Web: www.dbdrv.vic.gov.au

Victorian Building Authority

The VBA is a statutory authority that oversees building legislation, regulates building practices, advises government and provides services to industry and consumers. The VBA regulates the Victorian building industry, administers the registration of Victorian building practitioners and monitors their conduct, accredits building products and construction methods and advises government on building policy.

The VBA has the power to intervene on a building site and issue directions to a builder to fix or repair work. The VBA can also secure an enforceable undertaking from a builder, which can require a builder to do a specified thing or refrain from doing it, or to pay the owner a sufficient sum to undertake repairs or complete work. An enforceable undertaking may act as an alternative to disciplinary action against the builder.

VBA’s website is useful for those contemplating building and renovation work; it provides technical and regulatory advice and practical hints.

Victorian Building Authority

Goods Shed North, 733 Bourke Street, Docklands Vic 3008
Tel: 1300 815 127
Email: customerservice@vba.vic.gov.au
Web: www.vba.vic.gov.au

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

For information on the role of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in resolving domestic building disputes, see ‘Disputes’, above.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Tel: 1300 018 228
Email: civil@vcat.vic.gov.au
Web: www.vcat.vic.gov.au

VCAT hears matters at venues throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria; see VCAT’s website for addresses.

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