Owner builder permits

Under the Building Act 2016 there are only two ways for a landowner to engage in a building project which requires a certificate of Likely Compliance:

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

Owner builder permits are issued under the Occupational Licensing Act 2005 (the Act).  The Act seeks to allow genuine owner builders to undertake building work and prevent people without the appropriate licence engaging in illegal building activities. Owner builders are limited to 2 building projects in 10 years.

The owner builder permit allows a non-licensed person to perform the work of a licensed builder.

All building projects by owner builders also require a building permit from the local council. This permit relates to the actual building work and gives permission to build a particular project, once the designs have been assessed as likely to comply with national standards and Tasmanian legislation.

An owner builder has the same responsibilities as a licensed builder.

Applying for an owner builder permit

  • Only individual “natural” persons who own the land and premises may apply for an owner builder permit.
  • 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 owner builder permit application.
  • There are three Owner Builder Responsibilities approved courses.  Every applicant must also hold a Construction Induction card (White Card).
  • An applicant for an owner builder permit must have engaged a licensed building surveyor in respect of the work to be performed as an owner builder.
  • The Administrator of Occupational Licensing will check the applicant’s eligibility and if approved, will issue a permit.
  • A letter of approval with a permit number is issued to the approved applicant.

Application forms

Fees

Read the list of current licence fees

Insurance

  • An applicant is to hold an insurance policy to provide indemnity in respect to personal and property damage caused by an occurrence in building work carried out or managed by the holder.
  • The insurance policy is to include construction liability cover for the damage to existing property where the owner builder permit holder has physical or legal control of premises.
  • The amount and period of insurance is to be not less than $5 million and is to be held prior to the commencement of any building works and is to continue until a Certificate of Completion (building work) is granted. An application for an owner builder permit is to be lodged at a Service Tasmania shop and the owner builder permit fee paid.

Permit expiry date

A permit for owner builder will expire on the completion of the project.

Cancellation of a permit

The Administrator of Occupational Licensing can cancel an owner builder permit if necessary – such as where an owner builder is in breach of the Permit conditions.