Owner builder

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An owner builder is a person who constructs or renovates a home on their land, who is not in the building industry. 

Victoria’s owner-builder laws give property owners, genuine owner-builders, and registered building practitioners much greater protection. It is unlawful for unregistered builders to operate as a surrogate owner, or to persuade owners to be the 'builder' so they can avoid registration or insurance costs.

Following more changes in 2016, an owner-builder may only obtain building permits for one single dwelling and associated work on a single property in any 5-year period (previously it was 3 years). Of course, owner-builders must live and continue (or intend) to live in the dwelling.

As an owner builder you must obtain a certificate of consent from the Building Practitioners Board under the Victorian Building Authority, for any works over $16,000. This certificate of consent enables you to progress and get a building permit.

A building surveyor must be provided with the certificate of consent before a building permit can be issued.

Note: The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) manages this process - not the Council.
To apply for a certificate of consent to become an owner-builder, you will need to:

Once you have provided all the documents, the application takes about 28 calendar days to process. This process is managed by the VBA so please direct any queries about your Certificate of Consent to VBA.


More information on your duties and responsibilities as an owner builder can be found on the VBA's  Owner-builder information and study guide.