Owner Builders – do you know your obligations

by McColm Matsinger Lawyers



 Owner Builders – do you know your obligations

Under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (QBSA Act), a person is required to obtain an owner builder permit if they wish to perform building work to a value of $11,000 or more on their own property.  The Building Services Authority (BSA) keeps a register of all owner builder permit holders and this register can be searched by the public in the form of an on-line facility.

By becoming an owner builder you forfeit your right to BSA’s dispute resolution service and BSA insurance on the building work performed.  The owner builder is personally responsible for dealing with individual contractors if problems in workmanship occur and is also responsible for payment to rectify any defects in the building work.

If you are issued an owner builder permit, a notification is entered onto the land title for a minimum period of 7 years.  The purpose of the notification is to ensure that any future purchasers are made aware that the work was performed under a permit and is not covered by BSA insurance.

If you are selling a property where you performed owner builder work within 6 years after completion, Section 47 of the QBSA Act states you must before signing the contract of sale, provide the prospective purchaser with a notice which contains :-

  • Details of the building work performed
  • The name of the person (owner builder permit holder) who performed the work
  • A statement confirming the work was performed under an owner builder permit; and
  • The following warning : “Warning – The Building work to which this notice relates is not covered by insurance under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991.”

This notice must be given in duplicate and the prospective buyer must sign one copy of the notice and return it to the seller on or before signing the contract.

If this notice is not provided to the prospective purchaser the seller is deemed to have given the purchaser a contractual warranty (which operates to the exclusion of any inconsistent provision of the contract of sale) that the building work was properly carried out.  Essentially this means that if the work turns out not to have been properly carried out then the buyer may have a right to claim compensation from you.

It is therefore imperative that sellers take note of their obligations under the QBSA Act and estate agents preparing contracts of sale where there is an owner builder entry noted on the Title Search obtain legal advice on the necessary disclosure to buyers and procedure to be followed.  If you need assistance with conveyancing, contact McColm Matsinger Lawyers.

Brigitte Thieltges

McColm Matsinger Lawyers

Ph: (07) 5443 1800







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