The Design Building Practitioners Act – Compliance Implications

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As you are likely aware, the NSW Government has created legislation associated with certain major works. The Design & Building Practitioners Act (DBPA) sets out compliance requirements for applicable works with its main objective being to ensure such works are completed in a manner that is “fit for purpose” and compliant with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). 

 

Relevant legislation:

Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (DBPA) – https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2020-007 

 

and

 

Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (DBPR) – https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/sl-2021-0152 

 

What triggers requirements under new legislation?

Typically, works that require any of the below listed elements trigger an obligation to comply with the new legislation;

  • Works that require development consent
  • Waterproofing work (excluding work relating to alterations to a bathroom, kitchen, laundry or toilet)
  • Fire safety works with a “load–bearing” component
  • Fire safety works carried out to a component of the system
  • Cladding work
  • Any work not listed under the list of “exemptions” per section 13 of the Design & Building Practitioners Regulation – https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/sl-2021-0152#sec.13 

It is understood that the purpose of the legislation is to protect consumers from progressing an ill-considered scope to solve important issues within their building.

The obligation, for compliance, is with the engaged tradesperson. This obligation includes the need for contractors to provide “relevant documents” with the government “no later than 90 days after the occupation certificate is issued for the building or part of the building to which the building work relates”. The aforementioned documents are uploaded onto a government on-line portal and are also subject to future audits. 

As this legislation is already in place, we seek your cooperation in ensuring required compliance.

 

What have we done to support your need for compliance?

As strata managing agents, we have updated our process to include; 

 

  1. Imbedding additional wording within our template work orders / quote requests to remind contractors of their obligations under the DBPA; and 
  2. Upon receipt of quotes / invoices, if applicable, we will alert you of our position that there may be a requirement to comply with requirements set out by the DBPA, and will seek your response as to how you have complied with requirements / on what basis you believe there is no need for compliance; and
  3. Alerting our clients of when we believe such requirements are triggered 

Thank you for your attention to this important update. 

Further helpful information can be found on the below link:

 

NSW Fair Trading information / FAQs – https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/trades-and-businesses/construction-and-trade-essentials/design-and-building-practitioners/frequently-asked-questions#general  

 

Philip Kooper 

Head of Strata Governance

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