Building permit suspension

A building permit will be suspended on and from the day that:

  • the building practitioner’s registration (the named builder) is suspended or cancelled
  • the builder named on the permit is an architect and their registration with the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) is suspended or cancelled
  • the builder dies, is imprisoned, has become a represented person (within the meaning of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986))
  • where the builder is an owner-builder, the owner ceases to own the land (from 1 July 2019)
  • the engagement of the builder has been terminated.

The suspension ceases once a builder who complies with the relevant requirements of the legislation is named in the building permit. Until then, the building permit is invalid (under section 25AE of the Building Act 1993).

In the case of an owner-builder, if a person later becomes the owner of that land, and the remaining building work under the suspended permit is to be carried out by an owner-builder, the new owner of the land can notify the RBS that they are the new owner. If a new certificate of consent has been obtained to carry out the remainder of the building work, the RBS may change the builder named on the building permit (under section 25AA of the Building Act).

Carrying out building work while a building permit is suspended is an offence under the sections 16 and 16B of the Building Act.

What the legislation says

25AE Suspension of building permit

  1. A building permit is suspended on and from the day on which —
    1. if the builder named in the building permit is a building practitioner, the building practitioner's registration as a building practitioner is suspended or cancelled; or
    2. if the builder named in the building permit is an architect, the architect's registration as an architect is suspended or cancelled under the Architects Act 1991; or
    3. the builder named in the building permit —
      1. dies; or
      2. is imprisoned for an offence; or
      3. has become a represented person within the meaning of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986; or
    4. if the builder named on the building permit is the owner of land to which the building permit relates, the owner ceases to own the land; or
    5. the builder named in the building permit has ceased to be engaged to carry out the building work to which the permit relates.
  2. A building permit ceases to be suspended under this section on the day on which a builder who complies with the relevant requirements of section 24A is named as the builder in the building permit.
  3. A building permit is of no effect under this Act during the period that it is suspended under this section.

Penalties for carrying out building work while a building permit is suspended

  • 500 penalty units, in the case of a natural person.
  • 2500 penalty units, in the case of a body corporate.

Refer to sections 16 and 16B of the Building Act 1993.

Process for notifying the VBA of a change of builder on a building permit

A relevant building surveyor must notify the VBA and relevant council when:

  1. a builder ceases to be engaged by the owner to carry out building work related to a building permit, or
  2. a new builder is named in a building permit.

A building permit becomes suspended as soon as the builder (or owner-builder) named in the permit is no longer engaged to carry out the building work. Any suspended building permit will cease to be suspended when the building permit is amended with the new builder's details.

Owner and builder responsibilities

An owner must notify the relevant building surveyor within 14 days of any change in name or address or if the owner has transferred ownership of the building or land.

The penalty for failing to notify an RBS is 10 penalty units (regulation 42 of the Building Regulations 2018).

The builder named in the building permit must notify the owner and relevant building surveyor within 14 days of any change in name or address.

The penalty for failing to notify an RBS is 10 penalty units (regulation 43 of the Building Regulations 2018).

Managing building permit suspensions in BAMS

To notify the VBA of permits where the builder has ceased to be engaged and is being transferred to a new builder, the relevant building surveyor is required to amend the building permit record using the Building Activity Management System (BAMS).

  1. Log in to BAMS.
  2. Find the single building permit in the ‘Manage Permits’ section, which requires the change of builder.
  3. Select ‘View’ on the building permit record.
  4. Select 'Terminate Builder Contract' to view the online application form
  5. Update the required fields of the builder's details.
  6. You will be allocated a case number as an acknowledgement
  7. Repeat this process for multiple building permits affected by the change of builder.
  8. Please report an amendment to Building Permit via BAMS once the New Builder is named on the Building Permit.

Building permits issued before 1 July 2019

  1. To notify where the builder has ceased to be engaged, download and complete Section A and B of the Change of Builder in Building Permit – Single (XLSX, 90.71 KB) form.
  2. Email the form to: suspensions@vba.vic.gov.au
  3. You will receive an email from the VBA acknowledging receipt of notification.
  4. To notify VBA of a new builder named in an amended Building Permit, please complete section A and C of the Change of Builder in Building Permit – Single (XLSX, 90.71 KB) form and email it to: suspensions@vba.vic.gov.au
  5. Please report an amendment to Building Permit via BAMS once the new builder is named on the Building Permit.