Owner-builder eligibility

To be eligible for an owner-builder certificate of consent, you must meet the following requirements as outlined in Section 25E of the Building Act 1993:

  • You're the owner of the land (or the director of a company or beneficiary of a trust that owns the land).
  • Your building work is in relation to, or ancillary to, a single domestic dwelling. See Owner-builder project types below for more information.
  • You reside – or intend to reside – in the dwelling.
  • You are not in the 'business of building'.
  • You have successfully completed the owner-builder eLearning assessment, and undertaken construction induction training for the project (if required).
  • You have not previously entered into a contract to sell an owner-built home without obtaining the required insurance.
  • You have not been issued with a building permit as an owner-builder in the previous five years for a different property. (However, you may request an exemption if there are special circumstances relating to this requirement, such as economic hardship that might result if the application were refused.)

Owner-builder project types – description of building works

Owner-builder projects must relate to single domestic dwellings. The projects can be the construction of new dwellings, or alterations, renovations or additions to existing dwellings.

Owner-builder projects may also include completing building works to a home that has been relocated.

Work on ancillary buildings or structures are also acceptable owner-builder projects. Ancillary buildings are non-habitable, such as a garage, carport, shed or bushfire shelter. Ancillary structures include pools, spas, fences, pergolas and retaining walls.

Owner-builders can not carry out demolition work, subfloor work (e.g. re-stumping or reblocking), or the relocation of a home (which includes re-stumping or subfloor work). Registered building practitioners need to do these types of work.

You will need to specify the description of building work when you complete your application for an owner-builder certificate of consent. You can often find the description of building work on drawings provided by an architect or draftsperson. If you don’t have drawings, you can contact your building surveyor to find out the description of the work.

When an owner-builder certificate of consent is not needed

You do not need an owner-builder certificate of consent if:

  • the total cost of work is $16,000 or less
  • the building work does not relate to domestic building work
  • a registered building practitioner has been engaged to oversee all the work
  • you are carrying out the work in accordance with an emergency order, a building notice or a building order made under Part 8 of the Building Act 1993.

An owner-builder certificate of consent is also not necessary if the owner of the property is:

  • a builder whose registration authorises the carrying out of that type of work
  • a registered architect
  • the Director of Housing.