Ending the appointment of a private building surveyor

A number of businesses and organisations in the building industry are operating at reduced capacity due to current measures designed to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As the VBA relies on information or participation from these external entities, we may be unable to follow our normal processes.

Should there be a delay in processing your request for consent to terminate a private building surveyor, you will be advised accordingly.

Finally, it may become necessary for the VBA to limit our communications to email only for a period of time. In these circumstances, our response times may be extended. We thank you for your patience.

Ideally, a building surveyor should remain involved for the entire duration of a building project. However, sometimes a property owner needs or wishes to change building surveyors before a project has begun or is complete.

According to the Building Act 1993 (the Act), property owners cannot terminate the appointment of a building surveyor without the consent of the VBA.

As the property owner, if you want to change a private building surveyor after you have appointed them, you need to obtain consent from the VBA to terminate the appointment before another building surveyor can be appointed.

To apply to terminate or change building surveyor, complete an application form and provide the required information and documentation. Your application will be considered in accordance with our guidelines, and you will be advised of the outcome.

It's important to note:

  • Your arrangement with your building surveyor will continue until we advise you of the outcome.
  • The VBA does not have the authority to terminate the appointment of a municipal building surveyor.

The circumstances will dictate what application form needs to be completed. Select from the following relevant categories:

Frequently asked questions

When an application for a building permit is submitted, the building surveyor has commenced carrying out their functions under the Act.

It is not the role of the VBA to appoint a private building surveyor. Only an owner or agent of the owner may appoint a private building surveyor.

We can only give written directions to transfer the functions to a new building surveyor in very specific circumstances. This will generally apply if the initial building surveyor has numerous open permits and is no longer registered.

If a second building surveyor claims to be appointed for building work that is covered by an earlier appointment, the second appointment is a breach of the Act. The termination process is required to resolve a multiple appointment issue.

Furthermore, multiple appointments of building surveyors for same building work may also result in disciplinary action again the property owner and the second building surveyor in certain circumstances.

The provisions of the Act that allow a person to request consent to terminate the appointment of a private building surveyor do not apply to the relevant council's municipal building surveyor.

Once the municipal building surveyor has started building surveying functions for a project, that person (or that person's replacement as municipal building surveyor) must remain with the project.

If a request is sought because of a dispute, we are unlikely to provide consent for the termination. Some disputes can be resolved through the Building Appeals Board or by other means. If you have concerns about a building surveyor's professional conduct, you should lodge a complaint regarding your concerns to the VBA.

We are more likely to consent to the termination at an early stage of a project when there has been no building work carried out. However, this alone may not be a sufficient reason for consent to be granted.

If we refuse consent for the termination, you can appeal to the Building Appeals Board.

A private building surveyor is able to transfer their functions to another private building surveyor if the property owner agrees. In this circumstance, the consent of the VBA is not required. For more information please refer to Transfer of private building surveyor function.

No, the initial building surveyor can transfer their function to a second building surveyor and consent is not required from the VBA. However, in exceptional circumstances the parties will need to apply to the VBA for consent to terminate (for example, multiple appointments of building surveyors or the first building surveyor is no longer registered).