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1: Resolve the issue together

You must make genuine attempts to resolve issues directly with your builder before you can take the next steps to making a formal complaint.

You'll save yourself time, energy and money and it will help you to maintain good relationships on your project.

2: Find help for your issue

There are 6 Victorian Government agencies that deal with building matters, either from an industry focus, a consumer one, or both. These are:

Most issues relating to defects, incomplete work or contractual disputes are eligible for DBDRV. DBDRV provides free conciliation services for owners and builders about domestic building disputes and has the power to issue legally binding dispute resolution orders and certificates. You must try to resolve the issue through DBDRV before making an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Check that you are eligible for DBDRV at Is our service right for you?

The VBA handles complaints about breaches of building legislation, including:

The VBA can take disciplinary action against building practitioners who break the law but can’t settle disputes or provide compensation to consumers.

See Common problems and Building agencies and their roles to understand your options. We explain what types of matters they can assist with, what they can and can’t do for you, and when you might have to deal with more than one agency.

If you are unsure of where to go for help, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria’s (CAV) Building Information Line at 1300 55 75 59 for advice.

3: Explore other options

Where do you go when your issue isn’t covered or resolved by the agencies? Here are some other resources available, including where to go for legal advice.

Page last updated: 27/09/22