New obligations under the Building Act 1975 for owners, clients and building certifiers
The Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (BIFOLA) amends the Building Act 1975 and introduces new requirements relevant to owners, clients (for example, a company or a builder) and building certifiers. These measures enhance the role of owners in the inspection and certification process, and improve professional standards. The new provisions apply to building work performed on all classes of buildings. They take effect from 1 October 2020.
The updated guidelines for inspection of class 2 to 9 buildings (PDF, 644.44 KB) and for inspections of class 1 and 10 buildings (PDF, 708.6 KB) include the steps and timeframes that you need to follow to meet these new requirements.
Notification of engagement
Often a client (e.g. builder or company), that is not the building owner, engages a private certifier to undertake their inspections. In these circumstances, the private certifier must notify the owner of their engagement and provide their details to the owner and local government. Where the client is the owner, notification of engagement happens by default.
The client must also notify the private certifier within 5 business days of becoming aware of a change in the owner’s name or contact details.
An owner may request additional certifying functions
The building owner, if they are not the client, may request that the building certifier carry out additional inspections by giving the client an additional certification notice, using Building Form 33. They must give the notice within 10 business days of the owner being given notice of the certifier’s details, using Form 18.
The client must give the notice (Form 33) to the certifier within 5 business days of receiving it.
An owner can only make a request for additional certifying functions if the building certifier was engaged on or after 1 October 2020.
The owner may withdraw their request for additional certifying functions by advising the certifier that their additional certification notice is withdrawn, but this must be before the nomination of the agreed day or way to determine the agreed day.
The building certifier must perform the additional certification function requested in the notice and in the time agreed between the parties or as determined by the certifier.
Deciding the agreed day when a building certifier should perform additional certifying functions
Within 10 business days of the certifier receiving the additional certification notice, the client, building certifier, owner and builder must agree on when the additional certification functions will be performed or how to determine when they will be performed. If they cannot reach an agreement within the timeframe the building certifier must either nominate a day, or a way to determine the agreed day, and then inform the client and owner of their decision.
Owner request for inspection documentation
Owners can also request a copy of any inspection documentation at any time before the inspection of the final stage of assessable building work.
The owner of the building may give a notice to the building certifier requesting a copy of any inspection documentation for a previous stage of work. The documentation only needs to be provided by the building certifier if the building certifier:
- has performed the inspection of an earlier stage of the work; and
- is satisfied that the stage of work complies with the building development approval; and
- gives a certificate in the approved form to certify the stage of the work.
The building certifier must, within 5 business days after receiving the notice, give the owner the inspection documentation requested. This request applies to any documentation for the stage of work subject to the owner’s request.
The owner cannot request inspection documentation for building work performed prior to the final stage of assessable work if the building certifier for the work was engaged to inspect the building work before 1 October 2020.
Record keeping requirement for private certifiers
A private certifier must keep all inspection documentation for building work for which the certifier is engaged for at least seven years after the building work is completed. This applies to record keeping for building work completed from 1 October 2020.
- Last updated:
- 30 September 2020