Owner-builders

From 31st July 2017, the VBA is introducing a fast and simple way for owner-builders to submit, manage and track applications online.

VBA360 will enable real-time processing and 24/7 managing and tracking of your owner-builder application.

Register to create a VBA360 account

Complaints about the VBA should not be lodged through the portal but sent to the following email address, customerservice@vba.vic.gov.au

Complaints from government agencies including councils should not be lodged through the portal but emailed to customerservice@vba.vic.gov.au. Please attention to the Manager of Complaints and Scheduling Services.

FAQs

I can't see the Owner Builder application form on your website. Last time I printed a PDF, but now I can't find it!

The VBA have moved the owner builder application form online. This means you no longer need to print and mail the application - saving you time and money. Applying online also means you can track your progress in real-time; you can immediately see that your application has been received by the VBA and track your application through its assessment stages.

I don't want to apply online – can't you send me a form?

The Owner-Builder form is only available online, accessed via VBA360. By submitting your application online, we receive it as soon as it is submitted, in real-time. VBA360 also allows you to track the progress of your applications from your VBA360 account.

I have an old form that I didn't get the chance to send in prior to the new online form launch. Can I send that now?

No. Any copies of the previous PDF form received by the VBA as of 31st July 2017, will be sent back and the applicant asked to apply online. The VBA has had to impose a "cut over" date to transfer to the new system, as it is best to have one system for processing applications, rather than two systems running in tandem.

I'm not comfortable using my credit card to pay for my application. Can I mail you in a cheque or money order? Or can I come in and pay with cash?

We understand that some people may not wish to enter their credit card details online, in which case we suggest organising a bank debit card, via AUSPOST or your bank. This card can then be topped up as required to use for your VBA360 account. To protect your details, we use a Westpac payment gateway to process all credit card payments, a secure banking platform which supports all purchases made through VBA360.

I am trying to complete my owner builder application, but the project I want to build isn't listed here. There also isn't room for me to type in what I want. What's going on?

The online form only lists all projects which are acceptable for an Owner-Builder to undertake.

Acceptable project you wish to build must fit into one the categories listed below:

  • the construction of single residential dwellings
  • alterations renovations and additions to single dwellings
  • swimming pools and outdoor spas
  • retaining walls
  • fences
  • masts
  • pergolas
  • al fresco
  • sheds
  • garages and carports

You cannot perform:

  • demolition work
  • subfloor work
  • work on a relocated home or re-erection of a home as this would also require subfloor work.

What is the difference between an alteration, renovation and an addition?

  • Alteration

A change to the internal and/or external appearance, the function, or the capacity of a dwelling or a decrease in building size.

  • Renovation

Building project involving extensive building work, change of appearance and the like within the footprint of the existing dwelling

  • Addition

An addition to a dwelling to enlarge its floor area.

I want to build a shed on vacant land but the online form isn't giving me that option. Why?

An Owner-Builder project must relate to the carrying out of domestic building work in relation to, or ancillary to, a single dwelling. This means a home must already exist on the property - or being built as part of the same project - for you to be able to build a shed as an owner builder. Therefore, a shed on vacant land is not an acceptable owner builder project.

But I'm going to live in the shed.

If the structure being built is a home with a kitchen, bathroom, laundry etc then it may be considered a dwelling. To ascertain whether your project qualifies as the construction of a dwelling, we suggest that you contact a building surveyor.

A few years ago, I renovated my holiday home. This time there is no option for "holiday home" on the form. Why?

If you intend to spend time occupying both the holiday home and your principal place of residence, you do not need to specify whether the building is a holiday home. The Owner-Builder list of acceptable projects are based on the classifications for building projects contained in the National Construction Code. A 'Holiday home' does not need to have its own separate category, as the construction type would be "single dwelling".

Have you received my application?

Once you submit and pay for your application online, VBA360 allows you to check your application progress by logging into your account and checking the status.

Note: Your application is received and submitted to the VBA when payment is successful.

The different stages for processing your application include:

  • Allocation

Your application has been received, and is waiting to be assessed.

  • Assessment

Your application is being assessed and considered by an owner builder assessment officer. 

  • Recommendation

The owner builder assessment officer has finished assessing your application, and has made their recommendation to their manager.

  • Decision

Your application is with the Owner Builder manager and is awaiting their final review. This is the last stage of the application process and means you will have a response soon.

I have been given a 'temporary number'; What is that for?

While your application is being assessed, you will be issued with a temporary number as your reference in case you need to contact the VBA or need to send through further information that is relevant to your application.

Once a decision has been made, your application will be allocated an official Owner-Builder number.

How long will it take for my application to be processed?

An application should take approximately 3 weeks (21 days) to progress through the assessment, recommendation and decision stages of the application process.

If the application requires you to provide further information, the processing time may extend. If further information is requested, it is important for you to provide the required information promptly (i.e. within 10 days) otherwise your application may be rejected.

I have received an email stating I need to supply more information via my VBA360 account. Why have I received this email?

If the VBA requires clarification or further information from you to assess your application, a request email will be issued. The email will specify what information is required from you to progress your application, along with the date that the information is due. Information must be provided via your VBA360 account.

I received a message asking me to attach a scanned soft copy. I don't have access to a scanner. What can I do?

Please visit a local library or internet café to upload your document.

I've been asked to provide information that was unclear last time, why is that?

It might be that the scanned copy of a document provided by you was blank or distorted. If the image was a phone image, it might have been too small or distorted to read. To avoid this situation, it is important for you to ensure that the document has scanned correctly by checking that the scanned image is clear and the recipient will be able to decipher the content. If you are sending an image of a letter by photo, you must be sure that it is clear.

I was asked to upload some further information. I just want to check that it's been received? Did you get it?

Uploading information directly into your VBA360 accounts means we will receive it immediately.

This additional information will be considered along with the other information provided by you in the assessment of your application. You can check the progress of your application via your VBA360 account.

I have lost my copy of the Certificate of Consent; would you please mail me another one?

If you applied for your Certificate of Consent online, you would have received your consent via email, providing you an option to reprint. If you're unable to locate this email, or if your application was completed before 31st of July 2017, please contact the VBA on 1300 815 127 and we will email a copy of your Certificate of Consent to you.

I received a message that my payment hasn't gone through; are you able to tell me why?

The VBA does not retain any credit card or payment details. You will therefore need to contact your financial institution to find out why your payment hasn't gone through.

Why won't the system accept my Certificate of Completion number?

Please ensure you are entering your certificate of completion number correctly. Be especially careful of zeros and the letter "O".

If you completed your Certificate of Completion more than 12 months ago, you will need to undertake the Owner-Builder eLearning assessment again.

Ensure you have entered your date of birth (DOB) correctly in both your VBA360 account and on your Certificate of Completion. If your DOB is incorrect in your VBA360 account, you will need to log in to update your details. However, if you DOB is incorrect on your Certificate of Completion, please contact the VBA on 1300 815 127.