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Can I build it? When building work is unlawful

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Navigating complex legislation and regulations surrounding building and construction in Queensland can be confusing. So, when exactly do you require a licence to undertake to carry out building work? We’ve broken down some of the legal jargon.

What undertaking to carry out building work means

Undertaking to carry out building work includes:

  • Personally undertaking to carry out the building work even if you engage a licenced contractor to actually carry out the work.

  • Directly or indirectly causing the building work to be carried out.

  • Providing administration, advisory, management or supervisory services for building work.

Click here for full details.

When you don’t need a licence

There are circumstances where you do not require a QBCC licence. Some examples include:

  • Where the value is no more than $3,300, where it is not classified as electrical or plumbing work and where it does not require an occupational licence.

  • If you are an owner carrying out work on your own property. Providing the work is valued at no more than $11,000.

  • If you are an employee of a licensee who holds the correct licence. However, you cannot work as a site supervisor or carry out occupational building work.

  • If you are a sub-trade contractor for a licensed trade contractor who holds the correct licence.

  • If you are working in partnership with a licensee and they hold the correct licence. However, you cannot enter into or tender for a contract to carry out building work and you must meet propriety and fitness conditions as outlined by the QBCC.

Click here for full details about when you don’t need a licence.

What are the implications of undertaking to carry out unlicensed building work?

It is an offence under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act) to undertake to carry out unlicensed building work. This can include not holding a QBCC licence or working outside of what your licence allows you to.

Breaching the Act can incur a variety of penalties, depending on the circumstances. This can include receiving fines, demerit points and cancellation of your licence. Performing unlicensed work may render your contract void.

Are you unsure of what building work you can undertake as part of your QBCC licence? Or have you engaged an unlicensed builder and need some legal help? Get in touch with our team.

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