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Department of Justice

Owner Builder Registration Process

Owner builder 7 steps

Owner builder

7 Steps to becoming an owner builder

  1. Develop your plans with your architect or accredited building designer and decide whether you want to become an owner builder.
  2. Take your completed plans to a building surveyor and advise them that you intend to be an owner builder.
  3. Book in and complete the Tasmanian Owner Builder Responsibilities Course and Construction Induction card (White Card) course.
  4. Ask the building surveyor to seek approval from the Director of Building Control for you to act as an owner builder. The building surveyor will assist in the completion of a form, attach the training course certificates and send it into Building Standards and Occupational Licencing.
  5. If approval is granted, the Director of Building Control will issue a certificate with a registration number. The building surveyor will then issue you with a Certificate of Likely Compliance
  6. You now need to apply for a building permit from your local council. You will need to include all design documents, an Owner Builder Registration certificate and the Certificate of Likely Compliance with your application for a building permit.
  7. Before you commence building, you must provide your building surveyor with a Start Work Notice issued by your local council.

Read about specific aspects of becoming an owner builder

Owner builder definition

How is an owner builder defined?

In Tasmania an owner builder is either:

  • a natural person (not a company, partnership or trust) who is registered as an owner builder by the Director of Building Control to undertake on their own land a building project which requires a building permit and is valued at over $5,000 or
  • an owner who will perform a building project which requires a building permit, but:
    • the work is valued at less than $5,000; or
    • the work is exempt from Owner Builder Registration (meaning any Class 10 buildings, or any Class 7b farm buildings).

Registration required

Registration required

Under the Building Act 2000 there are only two ways for a landowner to engage in a building project which requires a building permit and is valued at over $5,000:

  1. contract with an accredited builder; or
  2. become an owner builder to manage or carry out the building work themselves.

The Act seeks to allow genuine owner builders to undertake building work and prevent people without accreditation engaging in illegal building activities. Owner builders are limited to 2 building projects in 10 years. Subsequent work to the same projects does not require re-registration. An owner builder has the same responsibilities as an accredited builder.

Apply for registration

Applying for registration

  • All owners listed on the title must apply for registration.
  • At least one owner must undertake the approved Tasmanian Owner Builder Training Course (mandatory from the 1 September 2013).  This course must be successfully completed within 12 months prior to the date of an application for registration as an owner builder.
  • There are three Owner Builder Responsibilities approved courses.  Every applicant must also hold a Construction Induction card (White Card).
  • Application to be registered as an owner builder must be through a building surveyor.
  • The Director of Building Control will check eligibility and issue a registration number to go on the Building Surveyor's Certificate of Likely Compliance and the Building Permit application.

Building start work notice

Before you start building

Lodge a Building Start Work Notification with the building surveyor and seek authorisation to start building work.

You can commence work once you have received the following from your local council (Permit Authority): 

  • a building permit;
  • plumbing permit; and
  • planning permit if required).

Earthmoving and excavations must not be started without the start work authorisation from the building surveyor.

Building surveyor

Building surveyor's role

The owner must engage a Building Surveyor and:

  • present plans and specifications for the proposed works;
  • make application for an owner builder registration certificate through the Building Surveyor; and
  • receive a Certificate of Likely Compliance from the Building Surveyor.

The owner is then required to apply for a building permit.

The owner must provide the Certificate of Likely Compliance, copies of the plans, specifications and title documents to the local council (Permit Authority) with the application.

The owner builder is required to notify the Building Surveyor at the mandatory notification stages throughout the building project, as identified in the Certificate of Likely Compliance and the Building Permit. The Building Surveyor will normally inspect the work at these stages and may inspect at any time.

Moving in

When can I move in?

  • The owner builder will need to complete and send an Application for An Occupancy Permit to the Building Surveyor. 
  • The Building Surveyor will assess if the critical works are completed (including smoke alarms, sanitation, and water supply) before issuing an Occupancy Permit. 
  • A copy of the permit will be sent to the local council (Permit Authority).

Work exempt from registration

Work exempt from registration

Owner builders are not required to be registered to build any Class 10 buildings or a Class 7b farm buildings.

Class 10 buildings are small non-habitable buildings or structures (private garages, garden sheds, car ports).

Class 7b farm buildings are storage buildings on farms or used for horticulture.

Work under $5000

Work under $5000

In Tasmania all building work valued at over $5000 in market value (materials and labour) that requries a building permit must be carried out by accredited builders or registered owner builders. Building works under $5000 may still need a building permit but may be carried out by people without accreditation.