Recent Changes to Domestic Building Laws - DBM Phase Out

  • Article by: Sally Wood

Recent changes have been made to Victorian building acts which are set to have a direct impact on domestic building practices.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has introduced changes which will see the progressive phasing out of the Domestic Builder Manager (DBM) and Domestic Builder Unlimited with condition 40 (DBU-40) class of builder registration.

The change applies to both individuals and companies. Under the new laws the DBM or DB-U40 class of registration will officially cease to exist after 30 June 2022.

The change was made to make way for a replacement class of building practitioner – the Project Manager (Domestic). The scope of work covered under this class is much the same, however the education requirements have increased. A bachelor degree or diploma is now part of the prescribed qualification.

The staggered phase out approach was adopted to ensure all current work can be finalised before the June 2022 deadline. Each of the phases will progressively restrict the practices of practitioners registered under the DBM until the class is completely unrecognised by mid next year.

Builders holding a DBM registration are encouraged to upskill and apply to the Victorian Building Authority to upgrade to another class prior to the deadline in order to continue practicing beyond June 2022.

Once a DBM upgrades to either a Domestic Builder (Limited) (DB-L) or Domestic Builder (Unlimited) (DB-U) they will no longer be bound by the prior restrictions and are free to undertake all components of domestic building work directly.

domestic building changes

Phases of Changes to DBM Practices

The first stage of changes introduced will restrict the undertaking of large scale projects. Essentially, DBM practitioners will not be authorised to enter into major domestic building contracts after 30 September 2021. A major domestic building contract is required for any domestic building work valued at over $10,000 (including materials and labour).

Following this, the second stage will take effect from 31 January 2022. This will see relevant building surveyors not permitted to issue a permit to a DBM practitioner. Up until this date a DBM practitioner can still be named as the builder on a building permit for domestic building work under a major domestic building contract.

As always, DBMs are required to continue to engage registered practitioners that are suitably registered to carry out works.

It’s important to note that DBM’s can continue to sign contracts and gain building permits, as long as all works are complete by 30 June 2022.

With just a large overhaul now underway, DBM practitioners are encouraged to begin the transition process immediately – if they have not already done so – well in advance of the 30 June 2022 deadline.

Published: 17/09/2021
Author: Sally Wood