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Strengthened consumer protections during building certification

1 July 2020

The NSW Government has delivered another important building industry reform, introducing much-needed protection for consumers during the building certification process.

 

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018, effective on 1 July, will tighten the NSW Government’s regulation of building certifiers, restoring consumer confidence in the industry.

“We have now strengthened the regulation of building certifiers, improving their accountability and independence and providing greater protections for consumers,” Mr Anderson said.

Certifiers will be required to attain a higher level of ongoing education in order to achieve registration, ensuring that only those with the requisite competence, skills and knowledge are authorised to carry out certification work. The Act also outlines minimum limits for insurance that certifiers are required to hold.

“Many building owners might not have known that they have the right to choose a building certifier, so we’ve embedded this protection in building and certification contracts to make it crystal clear.”

Strengthened contract requirements for certification work will ensure that there is no conflict of interest between the certifier and the builder.

The Government has also moved to strengthen compliance and oversight of certifiers in four key areas. This includes:

  • increased auditing;
  • increased penalties for corruption and negligence;
  • a certifier code of conduct with restrictions on a certifier’s ability to practice in the event of a breach in the previous 12 months; and
  • the provision of more information to homeowners, ensuring they have the transparency they need on a certifier’s compliance history.

These reforms are complemented by the Government’s historic building reform package, the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 and Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020, which passed in early June.

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