Compliance Certificates withheld for non-payment and where work is incomplete

Around 38 per cent of plumbing complaints received by the VBA since July 2021 related to compliance certificates.

Compliance Certificates withheld for non-payment (Building Act 1993 – s221 ZH (2)(a))

Around 38 per cent of plumbing complaints received by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) since July 2021 have related to compliance certificates.

Where a compliance certificate is required to be issued, the legislation requires licensed plumbers to lodge the compliance certificate with the VBA and provide it to the person for whom the work was carried out within five working days of the work being completed.

Some complaints relate to licensed plumbers not providing a compliance certificate, where it is required, due to a contractual or financial dispute.

All licensed practitioners need to be aware that a required compliance certificate cannot be withheld because money is owed to them.

Failing 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.

A financial or contractual dispute needs to be resolved via the appropriate avenues.

Compliance Certificates withheld where work is incomplete (Building Act 1993 – s221 ZH (2A)(2B)(a) & (b))

In some complaints received by the VBA, licensed plumbers do not provide a compliance certificate because the plumbing work is incomplete due to a dispute.

Where a licensed plumber has not completed work that they were engaged to do, and the person for whom the work was carried out believes on reasonable grounds that the plumber will not complete the work, a termination notice/letter is issued from the consumer or builder to the licenced plumber in writing to request a compliance certificate for the incomplete plumbing work.

The licensed plumber must provide the certificate for the incomplete work within five working days of the request, it is a requirement for the plumber to provide an accurate description of work he/she has completed for which the compliance certificate is issued for.

This is regardless of whether payment has been received. A financial or contractual dispute needs to be resolved via the appropriate avenues.

All licensed practitioners need to be aware that a required compliance certificate cannot be withheld because the work is incomplete and/or money is owed to them.

Failing to lodge and issue 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.

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