An ‘Owner Builder’ is someone who takes responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land.  The responsibility is not just with respect to the actual work but for the legal obligations also.

‘Owner Builder’ work relates to single domestic dwellings and includes:

  • The erection or construction of a home, including any associated work, such as landscaping, paving, retaining walls, driveways, garages, carports, swimming pools and spas; and
  • The renovation, alteration, extension, improvement or repair of a home.

As an Owner Builder you will be responsible for:

  • Obtaining a building permit and paying the Building Permit Levy;
  • Supervising or undertaking the building work;
  • Ensuring the work meets building regulations and standards; and
  • Notifying the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) if the estimated cost of works has increased at the end of the project.

If the proposed domestic building work is valued at over $16,000 you must obtain a certificate of consent from the VBA.  The value of the work includes labour costs and materials.

To become an owner builder in Victoria you must meet several eligibility criteria.  To determine your eligibility you can visit the VBA website at

If you are planning to sell your home and owner builder works have been completed within six years and six months (6 years and 6 months), then you have the following responsibilities and disclosure obligations:

1.    To obtain domestic building insurance for the work you have carried out if:

  • the building project was completed less than six and a half years ago from the date of issue of your Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection; and
  • the value of the building project is over $16,000.

2.    Obtain a Defects Inspection Report

To obtain a Defects Inspection Report, you need to engage a registered building practitioner such as a building surveyor, building inspector or engineer.  The Defects Inspection Report must be less than six months old when you sell your property.  However, a Defects Inspection Report is not required if the owner builder is a registered building practitioner.

3.    Have a copy of your Building Permit, Occupancy Permit / Certificate of Final Inspection.

You will need to provide a copy of the abovementioned documents to your conveyancer for disclosure in the Section 32 (Vendor Statement) to be prepared.

If you do not comply with your owner builder obligations when selling your property, a purchaser can choose to void the contract at any time prior to settlement.  You may also be prosecuted and if any of the warranties are breached, the purchaser and any subsequent purchaser can take proceedings against you.

For more information regarding owner builder works and owner builder obligations, visit the VBA website at