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How to prevent this
Check that builder or tradesperson is registered or licensed to do that type of work before hiring them. See Finding a practitioner and getting quotes to find out how to search for practitioners.
When any electrical installation work is done, the licensed electrician must always provide you or your relevant building surveyor (RBS) a certificate of electrical safety as a record that the work meets the safety standards.
Your plumber or gasfitter must provide you with a compliance certificate for some types of work. For new builds, you must give the certificate to your energy provider before they connect you to a service.
For plumbing, roofing, stormwater, waterproofing issues, discuss your concerns with the Relevant Building Surveyor (RBS) during the build and follow up with an email confirming details of the discussion.
You should keep copies of any certificates for your own records in case of issues in the future.
What you can do
If there is a serious safety issue that requires urgent action, call your local council. The council’s municipal building surveyor can take action to address urgent safety concerns.
If there are buzzing noises coming from the power points, lights flickering or fuses that keep tripping when using the kettle or toaster, disable services at the switchboard and contact your electrician or Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) for advice. Stop using power points or lights that don’t work and appliances that trip the power. The issue may also be with the appliance.
If you smell gas when the stove is off, stop using any gas appliances immediately and turn off the gas service at the meter. Call your gasfitter, gas distributor or ESV for advice. Alternatively, the VBA can be contacted for urgent plumbing issues including gas leaks, sewer spills and carbon monoxide leaks.
If you are unable to reach the VBA or your plumber/gasfitter to fix an urgent issue, you may engage another plumber to fix the problem. If you want compensation for non-compliant plumbing work through the original plumber's insurer, you will need evidence that the installation was non-compliant by obtaining clear photographs and a detailed written report from the plumber who fixes the issue.
ESV is the agency responsible for gas and electrical safety. You can lodge a complaint with ESV against an electrician or gasfitter who does unsafe work. You may also lodge a complaint with the VBA, who register plumbers and gasfitters.
For building matters such as fire safety, swimming pools and protection works refer to VBA for advice. You may lodge a complaint to the VBA against a practitioner if they fail to meet safety requirements.
Page last updated: 27/09/22