Building Licences and Insurance

Owner Builder

An owner builder is an individual who conducts building work on their own dwelling. For residential works over $5,000 carried out by an owner builder, an Owner Builder Permit is required to be obtained from the Department of Fair Trading. A copy of this permit must be supplied to Council or an accredited Certifier before the construction certificate is released.

Owner-builder work is any work (including supervision and co-ordination) involved in the construction of, or alterations, repairs or additions to, a dwelling (which includes a house, terrace, town-house, garage, swimming pool and certain other structures and improvements):

  • where the reasonable market cost (including labour and materials) exceeds $5,000, and
  • which relates to a single dwelling or dual occupancy:
  • that requires development consent under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, or is a complying development within the meaning of that Act.

To obtain an owner-builder permit, you must lodge a completed owner-builder permit application at a Fair Trading Centre. Further information on becoming an owner builder can be obtained from the Department of Fair Trading website.Once you have obtained your Owner Builder Permit, you must provide Council with a copy prior to the release of your construction certificate. If you have the permit, it is advisable to provide a copy when you lodge the construction certificate application with Council.

Home Building Compensation Fund (formerly known as Home Warranty Insurance)

The Home Building Compensation Fund provides protection to homeowners - for example a builder may be unable to honour the contractual commitments due to insolvency. Residential building work, which is to be carried out by a licensed builder and is valued at over $20,000 will need to be covered by Builders Warranty Insurance.

If you are an Owner Builder, and you decide to sell your home 6 years after the completion of work, you will need to obtain the Home Building Compensation Fund for work valued over $20,000. Refer to the Department of Fair Trading website for more information.

For more information refer to: