Compliance certificates cause influx of complaints but cannot be withheld for non-payment

Complaints folder

Consumers often complain their plumber has withheld a compliance certificate because of a dispute. But often the issue comes down to non-payment.

So, just what are the rules around supplying compliance certificates?

Approximately 40 per cent of plumbing complaints received by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) in 2018–19 related to compliance certificates.

Consumers often inform the VBA that their licensed plumber did not supply them with a compliance certificate – usually because of a dispute of some kind. But in many cases, the licensed plumber advised the VBA they did not provide a compliance certificate because they had not been paid for their work.

Under the Building Act 1993, a compliance certificate must be lodged with the VBA and provided to the person who requested the work within five days of the work being completed, regardless of whether payment has been received.

It is important licensed plumbers are aware of their obligations regarding compliance certificates and when they should be lodged with the VBA and with the person who requested the plumbing work.

Failing to issue or lodge a compliance certificate within the specified time frame is a serious offence and can result in a costly infringement penalty (for each offence) or a referral to a disciplinary inquiry.

Any financial or contractual dispute needs to be resolved via appropriate avenues.