Owner builder

Owner-builders must obtain a Certificate of Consent from the  Victorian Building Authority.  There are a number of legal issues around being an owner-builder and the Victorian Building Authority can advise further about this. If you are considering being an owner builder you are allowed to only build one property in any three year period.

Owners who intend to apply for a building permit for domestic building work as an owner-builder must provide to the relevant building surveyor a Certificate of Consent issued by the Building Practitioners Board.

To apply for a Certificate of Consent you will need to Request an owner-builder application kit  or call 1300 815 127.

What responsibilities does an owner-builder have?

As an owner-builder you must:

  • carry out domestic building work in compliance with the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations.
  • ensure they maintain a safe workplace and should have appropriate and public safety insurance policies in place.
  • consider purchasing policies to protect yourself against fire, theft and defective work.
  • must also obtain insurance for adjoining property protection during construction, and for twelve months following completion.

What potential risks do owner-builders take?

An owner-builder effectively assumes the responsibilities, legal risks and liabilities of a registered building practitioner.

These risks can include:

  • Financial risks
  • Project cost increases as a result of poor estimating 
  • Rework due to faulty workmanship and/or non-compliance 
  • Variations from the approved plans 
  • Loss by theft or fire on the site 
  • Site protection costs (security, safety) 
  • Occupational health and safety claims 
  • Adjoining property owner claims.

Want more information?

For those interested in being an owner-builder, the following organisations offer courses which outline what is involved in being an owner-builder and how to minimise the risks:


The information provided regarding the requirements for owner-builders is intended to be used as a guide or interpretation only and cannot be used for legal purposes.