Are You An Owner Builder? Know Your Obligations

Owner builders and vendor statements

Vendor Statement Disclosure: Owner Builders

In recent years, the influx of renovation shows like the Block and House Rules has meant that property owners have got the DIY bug. But did you know, by doing such things as replacing bathroom tiles or fixing a hole in a wall, it could be considered owner builder works?  

THE LAW - What is an Owner Builder?

An owner-builder is someone who constructs a building that is not done by a registered building practitioner and built on their own land. Under the Building Act 1993, constructs include; (a)     build, rebuild, erect or re-erect the building; or (b)     make alterations to the building; or (c)     enlarge or extend the building; or  

Owner Builder Report

s137B(2)(a)(i) of the Building Act requires that prior to entering into the Contract of Sale, a Vendor must supply to a Purchaser a Defects Report for Owner Builder Works completed or commenced within the last 6.5 years. If the works are over $15,000.00, the Owner Builder is required to take out Builders Warranty insurance. The Building Act does not specifically define what it means to make alterations nor does it state that a report is only needed for works that require insurance.  

What to do

The safest position is that when you alter your property by replacing those tiles or fixing a hole, an Owner Builder report should be obtained from a Registered Building Inspector as a Purchaser can withdraw from a Contract of Sale up until settlement if it is found that Owner Builder works have been done within the last 6.5 years and a copy of the report has not been provided to the Purchaser. Therefore, before embarking on that next DIY project when readying your property for sale, contact Phillips & Wilkins to obtain the up-to-date advice on your legal responsibilities.

At Phillips & Wilkins, Chris practices in the areas of Property Law, Conveyancing and Family Law. Chris has grown up in the Northern Suburbs and continues to be a part of the local community as being a member of the Old Paradians Amateur Football Club and the Mill Park Cricket Club. Learn more about Chris' legal experience.

Chris Henderson

Chris Henderson


At Phillips & Wilkins, Chris practices in the areas of Family Law, Conveyancing and Property Law. Chris always listens carefully to his clients and has developed a broad experience in family property and children’s matters. He provides practical advice always with the goal of resolving disputes as efficiently as possible. Chris has completed a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts at La Trobe University. He has also completed a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Leo Cussen Centre for Law. Chris has grown up in the Northern Suburbs and continues to be a part of the local community and is Vice President of Old Paradians Amateur Football Club and a committee member of the Mill Park Cricket Club. He also follows Collingwood Football Club passionately and enjoys playing the electric guitar when he gets the chance.