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When is a registration required?
Your project is required to have a registered practitioner in certain circumstances:
- When a builder is carrying out building work worth $10,000 or more and requires a major domestic building contract.
- Some types of work, such as demolitions, electrical work and structural work must be done by a registered practitioner regardless of the cost.
- For some work, the practitioner does not need to be registered if they are only carrying out one task, regardless of the cost, e.g., painting, plastering and tiling.
Find out when a registration is needed at Home improvements costing $10,000 or less and What is domestic building work?
How to prevent this
Before hiring a practitioner, you should check that they are registered for that type of work using the VBA’s Find a practitioner page. Never engage unlicensed or unregistered practitioners where they are required.
Ask them directly about their registrations and licences and be wary of those who avoid answering. You can also ask them to show you an ID card with their registration details. It is illegal for them to refuse.
Beware of those who use another practitioner's registration or licence. This is call licence lending.
Learn more about finding the right practitioner at Finding a practitioner and getting quotes
Read more: VBA | Six signs your builder or plumber is not registered
What you can do
Always talk to your builder and give them an opportunity to fix the issue before lodging a formal complaint or dispute. See Resolve disputes to understand the process for resolving disputes.
It is illegal for a person to imply or state that they are registered when they are not.
Building and plumbing work that is done without the required registrations or licences can be reported to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). The VBA may investigate whether a law has been broken and take disciplinary action against the practitioner.
Other practitioners, such as electricians, architects and engineers, are registered through other government agencies. See Roles and responsibilities to learn where you can lodge a complaint.
If there is defective building work you want rectified, you may be eligible for Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV). DBDRV provides free conciliation services for owners and builders in domestic building disputes. If you are unable to resolve your dispute at DBDRV through conciliation, DBDRV has the power to issue legally binding dispute resolution orders and certificates. Check that you are eligible for this service at Is our service right for you?
If you are ineligible for DBDRV, or if your issue could not be resolved and you have received a certificate of conciliation from DBDRV, you can make an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). You can also contact Consumer Affairs Victoria’s (CAV) Building Information Line at 1300 55 75 59 for free advice. Consider getting independent legal advice.
Read more: VBA | Problems and complaints
Tools and links
Page last updated: 27/09/22