The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is ramping up its use of infringement notices to address high-prevalence plumbing offences under the Building Act 1993.
Approximately 40 per cent of plumbing complaints received by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) in 2018/19 related to compliance certificates for certain plumbing work in Victoria.
In releasing data for the past financial year, the VBA says it is important that licensed plumbers are aware of their compliance certificate obligations, particularly in respect of when a certificate is required to be lodged with the VBA and with the person who requested the plumbing work.
A common cause of complaints identified in the VBA data relates to two circumstances where licensed plumbers are not providing a compliance certificate although it is required by legislation:
- A contractual or financial dispute; and
- The plumbing work not being completed due to a dispute.
The VBA reminds plumbing practitioners, and consumers, that a compliance certificate is required to be lodged with the VBA and provided to the person who requested the work. Both must be done within five days of the work being completed regardless of whether payment has been received.
If the work was not completed due to a dispute and a licensed plumber has received advice in writing not to complete work and to issue the compliance certificate for the partially completed work, the licensed plumber must provide the compliance certificate for the incomplete work within five working days of the request.
The VBA reiterated that failure to issue or lodge a compliance certificate within the specified timeframe is a serious offence. It can result in a costly infringement penalty (for each offence) or a referral to a disciplinary inquiry.
Financial and contractual disputes need to be resolved via the appropriate avenues.