Last updated 13 December 2016

If a person wishes to construct their own home or carry out major renovations as an owner builder, they must first obtain an owner builder permit from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) (a permit is not required where the estimated value of the building work is under $11 000). Before issuing a permit, the QBCC will require proof of ownership of the land on which the house is to be built.

In addition, the QBCC will require (subject to an exemption being granted) the person to have completed an owner builder course run by a course provider recognised by the QBCC. An owner builder course certificate must be less than five years old when the application is submitted.

It is the responsibility of an owner builder under the permit issued by the QBCC to ensure that the building work is properly carried out. This is still the case if an owner builder engages a licensed contractor. Therefore, it is important that the licensed contractor is selected carefully, and that the work to be carried out and the issue of responsibility are clearly specified in the written contract.

Notice on sale

If an owner builder sells property within six years of completing building work under an owner builder’s permit, the prospective buyer must be given a notice before the contract of sale is signed. The notice must contain details of the building work and a warning that it is not covered by insurance under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission  Act 1991 (Qld). Failure to give the prospective buyer the required notice will result in the seller giving the buyer a contractual warranty (which cannot be excluded by the contract) that the building work was properly carried out.