Council statement regarding 'orphaned' building permits

Published on 28 October 2021

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Many residents may have read a story that appeared in last week’s media regarding ‘orphaned’ building permits that can’t be completed because the original Private Building Surveyor is no longer in business.

In these situations, many homeowners have been left unable to occupy their homes until a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Final Inspection has been issued. Owners are having difficulty finding another Private Building Surveyor willing to take on incomplete orphaned Building Permits due to the inherent liability risk and indemnity insurance ramifications.

Yarra Ranges Council is calling on the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to step in and use their powers to appoint a manager of business to each building permit to resolve these issues that impact residents across the state of Victoria.  Under Victorian legislation, the VBA has the power to intervene in these matters and in doing so, would be indemnified against any risk under the Building Act. The Victorian Building Authority is the correct and appropriate authority to resolve these issues, and should exercise their powers to appoint a manager to the business, as they are the only authority with jurisdiction under the relevant part of the Building Act being section 83B(b) to do so.

We understand this is a complex and frustrating issue for members of our community who have found themselves in this position. Council has been and will continue to advocate to the VBA and State Government to assist residents in finalising these outstanding building permits. Council is also working with the Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group to advocate for action on behalf of the thousands of home owners across Victoria. 

Yarra Ranges Council will continue to advocate to the VBA, to support residents in the Yarra Ranges and across the State who have found themselves in this unfortunate position.

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