The Importance of BSA Licensing

Knowing your rights before hiring a builder for your home or inspection is important.

Under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991, all builders, building designers and most trade contractors must be licensed by BSA to carry out building work.
There are a few exceptions, such as electricians who have their own licensing system.

To obtain a BSA licence the applicant has to meet certain financial, experience, technical and managerial standards.
BSA assesses licence applications, issues licences, and ensures licensees continue to meet required standards.

If you are having a home built or work done around your home you should only contract with someone who has a BSA licence.
A BSA licence indicates that the person whose name appears on the card is licensed to deal directly with the public.

BSA also licenses building certifiers, investigates complaints against certifiers and conducts audits of work performed by certifiers.

In Queensland when you use a BSA-licensed contractor to build your home or perform major alterations or extensions, you are protected under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.

Builder

The ‘Cooling off’ Period

All contracts for domestic building work priced at over $3,300 must advise homeowners of their right to a ‘coolingoff’ period.

You the homeowner must give written notice and may be up for $100 plus out of pocket expences resonably incurred by the contractor before withdrawing from the contract.

Variations

Not documenting changes or variations to the original contract is often the cause of building disputes.

All variations requested by the contractor must be put in writing and copied to the homeowner as soon as practicable.
The only exception is if the work is required urgently and it is not reasonably practicable to produce a variation document before commencing work.
E.g. the builder is urgently securing your roof in a storm.

Progress Payments

In Queensland there is the DBC Act which requires the following insallment schedule and progress payments.

Stage of work

Maximum percentage of total contract price

1 deposit 5%
2 base stage 10%
3 frame stage 15%
4 enclosed stage 35%
5 fixing stage 20%
6 practical completion 15%