Complaints - important information

Raising your concerns with the relevant parties

In the first instance, it is advised that you make contact with the relevant parties (i.e. Building Surveyor, Builder, Plumber, Council etc) to discuss your concerns. It may assist with resolving an issue as clarification may be provided or the matter may be addressed via further discussion with other parties.

You will need to attach written confirmation of any advice provided , including any action taken or documentation provided when lodging your complaint. If no response was received or action taken, please also provide written advice confirming so.

How the Relevant Building Surveyor can help you with building matters

Building Surveyors are responsible for issuing building permits, carrying out inspections of building work to ensure compliance with the building permit, and issuing a Certificate of Final Inspection or Occupancy Permit certifying that a building is safe for occupation. For your own project the RBS is listed on your building permit. If you are an adjoining owner you can normally find RBS contact details from the building work sign on the property where works are being done.

Click one of the concerns below to see how the RBS can help:

Building Work (complete or incomplete)Building Work (impact on adjoining property)Siting

X

Building Work (complete or incomplete)

The RBS can issue a Direction to Fix if building work is non-compliant. This is issued to the builder.

The RBS can take enforcement action by issuing Notices and Orders if non-compliant work is identified. These are issued on the building owner who needs to address the Notice or Order.

X

Building Work (impact on adjoining property)

The RBS is responsible for considering the impact of the building work on an adjoining property and for the decision as to whether protection work is required.

X

Siting

The RBS is responsible for ensuring the Building Permit complies with the Planning Permit and/or the Regulations setting out setbacks, height, privacy and access to daylight. This will depend on which piece of legislation governs the site.

What the VBA can help you with

The VBA deals with the following Building Complaints :

  • Building work that does not comply with the Building Act 1993, Building Regulations 2006, and Building Codes and Australian Standards
  • Concerns about potential breaches and offences of building legislation by building practitioners
  • Concerns by an adjoining owner in relation to the protection of their property where building work has commenced or is due to commence
  • Concerns by an adjoining owner in relation to building work, completed or incomplete, which might affect their privacy or access to daylight due to height, building setback or overlooking. In some cases this may be a Council responsibility, but the VBA can assist you to determine if you need to contact Council
  • Incidents of an unregistered person carrying out building work or holding out to be registered when they are not

Please note when there is a Planning Permit containing siting requirements complaints should be directed to the Planning Department of the relevant Council.

If a complainant is taking action at VCAT against a Building Practitioner the VBA will generally not progress a complaint until the VCAT outcome is finalised.

The VBA deals with the following Plumbing Complaints:

  • Plumbing work that does not comply with the Building Act 1993, Plumbing Regulations 2008 or Australian standards
  • A Plumbing Compliance Certificate has not been issued
  • Incidents of an unregistered or unlicensed person carrying out plumbing work

Please note the VBA encourages you to contact the licensed plumber to explain your complaint and give them an opportunity to address it. The licensed plumber's response to your request will form part of any complaint assessment.

Please note: If there is no information (compliance certificate, contract or invoice etc.) a specific plumber carried out plumbing work, the VBA cannot enforce legislation. In some instances the plumber who carried out the work is different to the licensed plumber who signed a compliance certificate. The licensed plumber who signed the compliance certificate is always responsible for the work carried out.