Section 33 notifications

Section 33 of the Building Act 1993 (the Act) requires a relevant building surveyor (RBS) to notify the VBA of any failure of a person named as the builder on a building permit to comply with the following requirements:

  1. The person named as the builder on a building permit must notify the relevant building surveyor of the completion of each mandatory notification stage, and
  2. The person named as the builder on a building permit must ensure that anyone carrying out building work stops carrying out that work or any part of that work on completion of a mandatory notification stage, if directed to do so by the relevant building surveyor.

There is currently no approved form for this notification. The notification must be given in writing to the VBA with a letter of explanation including the following information:

  • what work was carried out
  • what action was taken in response
  • any instruction given requiring building work to stop, including the date and time (the instruction may have been given verbally)
  • the name and registration number of the builder
  • the status of the building work
  • the applicable mandatory inspection stage
  • information on how you became aware that work proceeded past the mandatory inspection stage, including the date on which this occurred.

The following documents need to be provided with the notification:

  • a copy of the building permit application (Form 1)
  • a copy of the building permit (Form 2)
  • the inspection records
  • any photographs or other information.

The information and documentation requested above allows us to make an assessment and progress the appropriate disciplinary response against the subject.

Please forward the notification in writing, with the above information/documentation, to referrals@vba.vic.gov.au. Include 's33 Notification' in the subject line of the email.

What happens next

Once we have received all the above information and documentation, an assessment is made in consultation with a VBA Senior Technical Advisor regarding the severity of the matter.

If it is of a low risk and a first-time offence, we will issue a warning letter to the builder. The letter advises them of the offence and states that if a further s33 Notification is received, it may be referred for investigation.

Alternatively, the notification may be referred to the Investigations Unit for consideration of disciplinary action.

Penalties and potential disciplinary action for breaches of section 33

Failure by a registered building practitioner to comply with section 33(1) or (2) is an offence under the Act that can attract the following penalties:

  • 120 penalty units in the case of a natural person
  • 600 penalty units in the case of a corporation.

Failure to comply with the above can also be the basis for the VBA to take disciplinary action.

As the RBS, you must notify the VBA of a builder’s failure to comply with section 33(1) or (2) of the Act. Any failure to comply with this obligation is a breach of section 33(3) of the Act, and can result in disciplinary action against you.