In Queensland, building works performed by a building contractor must only be done where the contractor has a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (‘QBCC’) licence and the amount of the building contract is over the value of $3,300.

It is an offence under the QBCC legislation for a builder to undertake building works if they do not hold the appropriate licence for the class of building works they are undertaking. Such building works includes kitchen installers, commercial builders, renovation companies, pool builders etc.

Some building works require a QBCC licence no matter what the value of the work is, such work includes drainage, plumbing, building design, pre-purchase building inspections and reports, termite inspections and gas fitting.

Before entering into a building contract a consumer should always ensure the contractor has a current QBCC licence for the particular works the contractor is engaging in. A licence search can easily be done by visiting the QBCC website http://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au

If you are an unlicensed builder undertaking work of a value less than $3,300 you must ensure you state this when advertising your services as failure to do so is an offence under Queensland law. An example of a statement for an advertisement in a commercial includes:

“Cannot perform building work over the value of $3,300”

If you are a licensed builder you must advertise your services by including the following details in an easily to understand way and in a reasonably prominent manner:

– The name of the licensee (either the name of the builder or the company name whichever holds the license)

And

– The QBCC licence number, e.g. QBCCLic: XXXX

As a building contractor, if you undertake building works that you are not licensed to carry out and a dispute arises about payment under the contract, not only may you face penalties but you won’t be protected by the building legislation to recover the full amount of outstanding payment claims (such as the QBCC Act for domestic building work or the Building Construction Industry Payments Act (‘BCIPA’) for building construction contracts).

At Greenhalgh Pickard Solicitors we have represented many building contractors and consumers in both domestic and commercial building disputes. We have acquired extensive experience to be able to advise and assist you with your rights and responsibilities when entering into building contracts or when a building dispute arises. For assistance contact the team at Greenhalgh Pickard today!

By Shane Ulyatt