This page contains details about the 2017 changes to the Building Act that may directly or indirectly affect you as a building surveyor.
Changes effective 16 August 2017
Emergency Orders, Building Notices & Building Orders
There are changes to emergency orders, building notices, building orders and amended definitions as well as new penalties for body corporates (i.e. companies in the business of building), in addition to new regulations compelling practitioners to maintain exits and safety and emergency services with a view to increased public safety.
Directions to Fix Notices
Include increased penalties for builders for non-compliance when issued with a direction to fix notice.
Changes effective from 1 July 2017
Limitation on issuing permits
A relevant building surveyor must not issue a permit for domestic building work unless the builder named in the permit is registered in a category and class that authorises the proposed scope of the work. For more information about scopes of work refer to the fact sheet.
The VBA has a discretion to appoint a statutory manger to a private building surveyor business in limited circumstances.
Changes effective from 24 May 2017
When a municipal building surveyor may not act
From 24 May 2017, conflict of interest provisions introduced in July 2016 for private building surveyors are extended to apply to municipal building surveyors undertaking appointments outside their municipality. The changes outlined in this fact sheet now apply to municipal building surveyors. The provisions are extended by the amendment of section 216C(4)(a) of the Building Act 1993.
From 24 May 2017, the amended Building Act 1993 (Act) creates new offences under section 16B of the Act, namely that:
- A person who is in the business of building must not carry out building work for which a building permit is required if the person knows that a building permit is required to carry out that work and a building permit to carry out that work is not in force; and
- A person who is in the business of building must not carry out building work if the person knows that the building work is not being carried out in accordance with the Act, building regulations or the building permit issued in relation to that work.
Read the VBA's Prosecution Policy to learn more about the VBA's operational approach to the prosecution of offences
Registration of companies as building practitioners
Companies involved in building surveying may elect to be deemed registered subject to meeting certain requirements. It is anticipated that this change will take effect from 1 July 2018 and the VBA will provide further advice before any action is required.