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.
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is ramping up its use of infringement notices to address high-prevalence plumbing offences under the Building Act 1993.
Efforts will initially focus on two offences that have high rates of non-compliance and which drive consumer complaints to the VBA:
- failure to provide customers with a compliance certificate within five working days; and
- failure to have plumbing work ready for a scheduled inspection.
Despite repeated warnings to practitioners in the past, the VBA continues to see these types of non-compliance.
The ramp up of infringement notices - which can be enforced in court if fines are not paid - is anticipated to reduce detriment faced by consumers. This will also allow the VBA to focus its resources in proactive inspections, enforcement, and targeted harm-reduction activities.
To avoid fines of up to $826.10 for each offence, plumbers should remember to:
- where plumbing work requires a plumbing certificate, lodge the compliance certificates with the VBA and also issue a copy to their customers within five days of completion of the work.
- reschedule their plumbing inspection if they cannot attend their appointment with a VBA inspector or their work is not complete.
And remember, you must issue customers with compliance certificates within 5 days of completing certifiable work even in cases of dispute with the customer.