Owner-Builder Permit Information

View from Warragamba Lookout

Owner-builder work is any work (including supervising and co-ordinating work) involved in the construction of, or alterations, repairs and additions to a dwelling or any ancillary residential structure eg. carport, garage, swimming pool, tennis court etc.

A homeowner, unless he/she is the holder of a contractor licence issued under the Home Building Act, 1989, will need an owner/builder permit where the homeowner is doing any of the work (i.e. the labour) or co-ordinating two or more contractors to do the work, where the market value of the labour and materials of the whole project is more than $10,000 and needs development approval. If the cost of the proposed project is over $20,000 then the owner-builder will need to complete an approved course. This requirement is to ensure that owner-builders have information relating to the Home Building Act, statutory and recommended insurance, licenses, contracts, building approval processes and occupational health and safety. Further information regarding approved courses can be obtained from NSW Fair Trading.

To get an owner-builder permit, you must apply to a Fair Trading Centre. Visit NSW Fair Trading or call 13 32 20 to find out more.

An owner-builder permit is not a building licence. It does not allow you to:

  • Do work other than the project covered by the Development Application or Complying Development Certificate.
  • Do specialist work such as electrical, plumbing, gasfitting, air-conditioning and refrigeration work (unless you hold a licence for such work).

Selling an owner-builder built home

Should an owner-builder or a successor in title to that person decide to sell their home within 7 years and 6 months after an owner-builder permit was issued, the contract for sale must include a note (a consumer warning) stating that: an owner-builder permit was issued in relation to the land on the date it was issued.

If the consumer warning is not included in the contract of sale, the purchaser can void the sale contract before settlement.

Warning! - As an owner-builder you are guaranteeing the work you undertake.  The next immediate owner of the property is entitled to the benefit of the statutory warranties set out in the Home Building Act 1989, and can take you, the owner builder, to the Tribunal to enforce their statutory warranty rights.  This may result in a money order against you.

Further information should be obtained from NSW Fair Trading.