Victorian

Building Notice

Building Notice System: Building Act 1993

The Building Surveyor under various sections of the Building Act 1993 has a significant role in the ‘enforcement procedures’ (issuing a building notice) to ensure compliance is achieved or public safety and health are not endangered. A building surveyor can issue an emergency order, building notice, building order to stop work and a building order for minor works under the Building Act 1993.

A private building surveyor can issue all the above building notice and building order except for an emergency order, which only a municipal building surveyor can issue. The building notice process flow chart depicts four possible options under the Building Act 1993 for issuing a building notice.

Building Notice: Issuing

A building notice is issued by a building surveyor on the owner of the land or a building under section 107 of the Building Act 1993 when building work is being or proposed to be carried out. The building notice is a notice to show cause why the building surveyor should not proceed to issuing a building order.

The Building Act 1993 in section 106 covers a building notice:

106 Building notice

Subject to section 107 of the Building Act 1993, a municipal building surveyor or a private building surveyor may cause a building notice to be served on an owner of a building, land on which building work is being or is proposed to be carried out or a place of public entertainment if the building surveyor is of the opinion that any one of the following circumstances exists-

(a) building work has been carried out on the building, land or place without a building permit required by this Act, or in contravention of a building permit or this Act or the building regulations;

(b) the use of the building or place contravenes this Act or the building regulations;

(c) the building or place is unfit for occupation or for use as a place of public entertainment;

(d) the building, land or place or building work on the building, land or place is a danger to the life, safety or health of any member of the public or of any person using the building, land or place or to any property.

At this stage it would be in the best interests of the owner (consultants / contractors) to expeditiously and professionally respond to the building notice with information and performance of works to allow the building surveyor to cancel the building notice.

Building Notice: Serving

The Building Act 1993 is precise in the methods to be adopted in issuing a building notice. Section 236 of the Building Act 1993 for serving a building notice states:

236 Service of documents-generally (building notice)

(1) Any document (building notice) to be served on or given to a person under the Building Act 1993 or the regulations may be served on or given to the person by-

(a) delivering the document to the person; or

(b) leaving the document at the person’s usual or last known place of residence or business with a person apparently not less than16 years of age and apparently residing or employed at that place; or

(c) sending the document by post addressed to the person at the person’s usual or last known place of residence or business or in any other prescribed manner.

(2) A building order made under section 112 may be served on any person apparently in charge of the site on which building work is carried out.

(3) If a document (building notice) is to be served on or given to the owner or occupier of any land and the name of that person is not known the document may be addressed to “the owner” or “the occupier”.

(4) If a document (building notice) is to be served on or given to the owner or occupier of any land, the document maybe put up in a conspicuous position on the land if the name and address of the owner are not known and there is no occupier of the land.

(5) If the owner has authorised a person to act on behalf of the owner under this Act or the regulations, any document (building notice) served on or given to that person under this Act or the regulations is deemed to have been served on or given to the owner.

(6) If a document (building notice) to be served on or given to an owner or occupier of any land is properly served on or given to the owner or occupier of the land the document is binding on every subsequent owner or occupier of the land.