States and territories have different rules about building approvals and permissions and when you need a building contract. You and your builder are responsible for making sure you have the right approvals and permissions for your building works.

You’ll need to check your local council requirements for your home modifications. Most local councils will have information on their website or you can call them.

We’ll tell you if you need to give us written confirmation that you have the appropriate building approvals and certifications. We might need this before we can make certain payments to you or the provider. You’ll need the necessary certifications for the completed work before we can pay or approve the final stage payment for home modifications.

Minor home modifications may also need trade certifications, such as an electrical certificate of compliance. Or plumbing certification for changes that affect the ‘wet seal’, such as modifications to a bathroom floor or lower walls.

You are responsible for making sure your home modifications meet the legal and administrative requirements. Your building works project manager can help you check your home modification complies with the required standards.

What are your responsibilities for contracts?

You, or the homeowner, will sign the building contract and enter into a legal agreement with your builder. We are not a party in this contract, or involved in this agreement.

Your commitments are the same as if you were paying for the work with your own money. This includes making sure you or your providers comply with any local authority regulations for the modifications.

What if your builder needs payment upfront?

Depending on your contract, your builder may need some payment upfront or at different stages of your home modification. These are called stage or progress payments.

You and your builder will agree on and document the amount of each payment in your building contract. This must comply with local building construction or Consumer Affairs laws.

You’ll need to let us know if your builder needs upfront or stage payments during your planning discussions, so we can include funding in your plan for these payments. Don’t agree to pay all the money, or a final stage payment, before the modifications are complete or before any certifications have been received.

This page current as of
27 September 2022
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