Step 1: Find the Builder's Licence Number
Step 2: Visit the NSW Fair Trading Website
The NSW Fair Trading website offers a free service that allows you to check if a builder holds a current and valid licence. To check a builder’s licence, visit the NSW Fair Trading website at:
https://www.onegov.nsw.gov.au/ and follow the instructions.
Step 3: Check the Builder's Licence
To check a builder’s licence on the NSW Fair Trading website, follow these steps:
Click on the “Check a licence” button.
Enter the builder’s licence number in the search bar.
Click on the “Search” button.
The search results page will display the builder’s licence details, including their name, licence type, expiry date and any restrictions or conditions on their licence. You should review the details carefully and ensure that their licence is current and covers the works to be performed for you.
Step 4: Review the Builder's Licence Details
When reviewing the builder’s licence details, you should also check the builder’s past conduct. The NSW Fair Trading website allows you to view a builder’s past conduct, which shows any disciplinary actions or penalties that have been imposed on the builder in the past. A builder with a clean record is more likely to provide high-quality work and a positive experience.
Additional Steps and Legal Requirements
Performing a builder’s licence check is an important step, but there are other factors to consider before hiring a builder in NSW. Some of these include:
Conducting due diligence on the builder’s qualifications and experience: Ask the builder about their qualifications and experience in the industry, and request references from previous clients.
Reviewing and seeking legal advice on the construction contract: A building and construction lawyer can review the contract to ensure that it protects your interests and complies with all legal requirements.
Requesting the builder to provide references of current clients: Speaking with a builder’s current clients can provide valuable insights into their performance and work quality.
Builders in NSW must also meet additional legal requirements, including:
- Obtaining appropriate insurances, such as HBCF Insurance (Home Warranty Insurance), public liability and workers’ compensation insurance
- Ensure that the builder has the necessary insurances in place to protect you from any damage to property or injuries that may occur during the building work.
- Complying with workplace health and safety regulations: The builder must comply with all relevant regulations and guidelines to ensure the safety of workers and site visitors.
- Complying with environmental regulations and standards: The builder must comply with all relevant environmental regulations and standards.
What to do if the Builder's Licence is Cancelled or Suspended
If you perform a builder’s licence check and find that the builder’s licence is cancelled or suspended, you should not contract with the builder. If you are already in a contract with the builder, you should seek legal advice from a specialist building and construction lawyer to determine your rights and options.
Consequences of Hiring an Unlicensed Builder in NSW
Hiring an unlicensed builder in NSW can have serious consequences. Firstly, an unlicensed builder may not have the necessary skills, experience, or qualifications to carry out the work safely and to a professional standard. This can put your safety, the safety of your property, and the safety of others at risk. Secondly, an unlicensed builder may not have appropriate insurances, such as public liability and workers’ compensation insurance, which can leave you liable for any accidents or injuries that occur during the building work. Certainly, the builder will not be able to effect the HBCF insurance policy required for the work. Finally, an unlicensed builder may not comply with council and government regulations, environmental regulations, or other legal requirements, which can result in fines, penalties, and legal disputes.
Checking a builder’s licence in NSW is a simple and easy process that can give you peace of mind knowing that your builder is qualified and experienced to carry out the work safely and to a professional standard. By following the step-by-step guide in this article, you can perform a builder’s licence check on the NSW Fair Trading website before hiring a builder. It’s also important to conduct due diligence on the builder’s qualifications and experience, seek legal advice on the construction contract, and request references of current clients to speak with before making a decision. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your building project is in safe and capable hands.
We assist homeowners with contract review and advice. We also offer services to conduct due diligence on the builder. This helps owners manage their risk and understand their rights and obligations under their contract.