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Owner Builder Information

If you choose to construct your own development and not use a licensed builder, under certain circumstances you must first apply to obtain an 'Owner Builders' Permit. These permits are used by the Department of Fair Trading, subject to various conditions. Further information is available on the Departments website.

Some frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the obtaining of an Owner/Builder's Permit are identified below.

Do I need to obtain an Owner/Builders Permit if I am only doing minor development?

If the total value of the work that you are going to complete does not exceed $5000, then an Owner/Builders Permit is not required, and subject to Council's development consent and Council issuing a construction certificate, construction can commence.

What if the total value of my work DOES exceed $5000?

If the total value of your work is greater than $5000, yet does not exceed $12000, the owner must make an application to the Department of Fair Trading to obtain an Owner/Builders Permit. Alternatively, a licensed builder must be engaged with or an appropriate contract signed. Details of the licensed builder or a copy of the Owner/Builder permit must be given to Council before construction can commence.

What if the total value of my work is greater than $12000?

Where the total cost of work exceeds $12000 and Owner/Builders Permit must be obtained. You will need to complete the appropriate training course through TAFE or an approved private provider and apply for an Owner/Builders Permit with the Department of Fair Trading. It is noted that if any contractor is engaged for work greater than $12000 they must provide the owner builder with Home Owners Warranty Insurance for the value of the work.

What does obtaining an Owner/Builder's permit involve?

To become an Owner/Builder, you first have to enrol in an appropriate Owner/Builder course recognised by the Department of Fair Trading. These courses are run through approved private providers and TAFE. Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate will be issued and must be forwarded with your application for an Owner/Builders permit to the Department of Fair Trading. The Department will then issue the Owner/Builder's permit and permit number.

What does the TAFE course involve?

This course is equivalent to 8 hours of classroom attendance. The maximum time allowed to complete is one year. At the completion of this course, students will have gained an awareness and knowledge of the legal and supervisory responsibilities to undertake construction of alterations or additions to their own building project.

What are the course entry requirements?

This course is open to anyone who needs to apply for an owner-builders licence or who is interested in gaining an understanding of the legal and supervisory responsibilities to undertake construction or alterations or additions to their own building project. Students must be 18 years old or over before starting the course. Note: An owner-builder permit will only be issued to an owner of the land (i.e. their name appears on Council rate notice). For unusual circumstances please refer your situation to the Department of Fair Trading.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Fair Trading at: http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au .