A question we quite often get asked is;
“what happens if I have a change of circumstance that significantly affects my ability or desire to complete my owner builder project?”
In Queensland, the QBCC has provision to allow you to either:
Change, replace or surrender your owner builder permit
If your project scope changes, for example, the value or description of the works, you must advise the new details by completing an Application to Amend an Existing Owner Builder Permit form (PDF).
You will need to provide details of the change, reason for the change and make a declaration that states the information you provided it true and correct.
If you misplace your paperwork and need to replace your owner builder permit, you will be required to lodge the Owner Builder Replacement Permit form (PDF) and pay the replacement fee.
Make certain you have recorded your Owner Builder Permit number as this will be helpful in quickly organising a new/replacement permit.
Surrender your owner builder permit
If you feel you need to surrender your owner builder permit, you can do this by writing to the QBCC. The most common reasons for surrendering an Owner Builder Permit is that you have decided to engage a Licensed Contractor to complete the works indicated on your permit. It is important to understand, that once surrendered, you can’t perform any more owner builder work on the property.
To surrender your permit you must complete the Application to Surrender an Owner Builder Permit form (PDF).
The point at which you surrender your permit, will determine the status of your construction in respect to Home Warranty Insurance and the requirement to place a notification (Warning) on any subsequent contract of sale.
The following summarises your owner builder responsibilities and obligations if you surrender you permit before or after signing with the Licensed Contractor.
Surrendering an owner builder permit after work has started?
The QBCC will not cover any work you did under the permit under the Queensland Home Warranty insurance scheme. This includes any work done by a licensed contractor.
Your property title will still have a notification about the permit for 7 years.
Surrender an owner builder permit before work starts?
Should you decide to engage a licensed contractor to complete the works that were subject of an owner builder permit, you must surrender the permit before you sign a contract.
You will also need to provide proof of having cancelled your building approval (written confirmation by your Building Certifier or PCA).
Once this is received by the QBCC you can request to have the title notification removed only where you surrendered the permit.
The other circumstance where you can surrender your owner builder permit without having restrictions placed on your title are should you not obtain building approval. You will be required to provide a current council search, or a letter confirming 'current land status' from your solicitor.
I hope this helps cover and adequately answer the questions in respect to surrendering, replacing or changing your owner builder permit in Queensland.
Best Regards and Happy Owner Building,
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Rick Heaton is a Building and Construction Industry professional with formal tertiary qualifications in management and training.