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Owner-builder exemption for restricted building work

Owner-builders may carry out restricted building work (RBW) on their homes.

Who is an owner-builder?

You are an owner-builder if you:

  • live in or are going to live in the home you are building or renovating (includes baches and holiday homes)
  • carry out the restricted building work on your own home yourself, or with help from unpaid friends and family members
  • own the land or the building on which the restricted building work is carried out
  • have not, under the owner-builder exemption, carried out restricted building work to any other home within the previous three years.

The owner-builder exemption is specifically tailored:

  • DIY
  • RBW where the owner-builder proposes to carry out works that they are not licensed for.

Owner-builders who carry out restricted building work must complete a statutory declaration and return it to us before work begins.

Work not covered by the exemption

The owner-builder exemption will not cover electrical, gas, plumbing and drainage works unless the owner-builder holds appropriate licences for this work.

The owner-builder exemption is not valid until you submit a written declaration to us confirming that you meet the owner-builder criteria.

Who can help you with the work

As an owner-builder, family members and friends can help you with restricted building work on your home, as long as you are not paying them.

All work must still comply with your building consent and the building code.

Restricted building work not done by an owner-builder

Any restricted building work you do not do yourself, or is not done by your unpaid friends or family members, must be carried out or supervised by a licensed building professional (LBP) who holds the appropriate licence class. The LBP must also supply you with a Record of Work.

You can still hire a designer to draw your plans. If the design includes restricted building work, they will need to provide a Certificate of Work.

Recording owner-builder work

As an owner-builder, you will also need to give us notice if:

  • there is a change in the restricted building work you are doing
  • you cease to carry out the restricted building work.

We will record the work, and who it was carried out by, on your LIM.

If you decide to sell the home, future buyers will have access to this information showing whether the building work was carried out by the owner, or a licensed building professional.

Statutory declaration

The statutory declaration form must be witnessed and signed by a legally authorised person, such as a Justice of the Peace.

You need to either include the completed form with your building consent application, or provide it to us before your restricted building work begins.

More information about owner-builder exemptions

Read this guidance document for more information on owner-builder exemptions.

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