Owner Builder FAQ from 1 January 2017
Are there new restrictions on work of owner builders?
Yes, the biggest change is that an owner builder permit will only be issued for work on a residential building (detached dwelling or a conjoined unit). Permission won’t be issued for any work on commercial buildings. Other changes include:
- Only two owner builder projects are allowed in a ten-year period. However those two projects could include two entirely new dwellings.
- Owner builders cannot keep performing more work on what they have already constructed. Each new building project must receive a new owner builder permit.
- There is a fee for each owner builder permit (registration) issued.
- Reintroducing owner builder insurance. This insurance was discontinued in 2008 when Housing Indemnity Insurance ceased (this will only cover the work of the owner builder and is not re-introducing home-owner warranty insurance).
- Fee and insurance requirements for owner builders will be the same as a licensed builder.
Does this affect farmers?
- Farm sheds up to 72m2 will not require Owner Builder licences to be built. Sheds to be constructed that are larger than this will need to be notified to councils.
- The Government has also simplified the building approvals process for farm buildings, so there will be much less regulation that primary producers need to comply with.
Does this restrict “home handyman” projects?
- Not at all, as smaller sheds and outbuildings (Low Risk Buildings) are already exempt from owner builder registration.
- The Building Act 2016 further simplifies the building approvals process and will be of great benefit to homeowners and handypersons. A homeowner will be able to build:
- a shed, garage or carport up to 18m2, or up to 36m2 if prefabricated.
- a porch or veranda up to 9m2, or a deck up to 1m high
- a temporary swimming pool up to 9m2 with a child safety fence
- perform maintenance or repairs on a dwelling using similar materials as those replaced.
This and more may be done without needing council building approval.
What are other requirements of owner builders?
- Limit of two projects in 10 years (this only covers work on habitable buildings).
- Complete an owner builder awareness course (same as present)
- Obtain a White Card for health and safety construction training (same as present)
- Individual “natural” persons who own the land must be the applicants as property held in the name of a company cannot receive an owner builder permit (same as present).
Administration of owner builder permits:
- Owner builder permits will be issued under the Occupational Licensing Act 2005. That Act has been amended to allow these changes and the Building Act 2000 has been repealed.
- The new Building Act 2016 contains no licensing or registration provisions.
Owner Builder Permits: True of False
The applicant must live in Tasmania
False. Owner could live elsewhere
The owner must live in their owner builder residence
False. No such requirement or any period of time to be resident
A Licensed Builder cannot be granted an owner builder permit
False. No restriction on any persons licensed under the Occupational Licensing Act from also receiving an Owner Builder Permit.
Applicants must be owners registered on the title deeds
False, as a person who has signed a contract to buy land or a building is also classed as an “owner” under the Occupational Licensing Act.
Work on a residence (Class 1a), that is in the Notifiable or Permit Work categories, requires an Owner Builder Permit
True. In addition, work that might fall into the Notifiable category will still require a building permit if undertaken by an owner builder.
Any building work on a residence over $20,000 that requires an application for a Certificate of Likely Compliance needs an Owner Builder Permit