02.09.2018

Advertising or Promotion of Domestic Building Work

Recent amendments to Victoria’s Building Act 1993 have introduced new laws on how domestic builders advertise and promote their business

The Master Builders Association of Victoria has issued an alert to its members about the recent amendments to Victoria’s Building Act 1993 and the introduction of Building Regulations 2018, which have introduced new laws on how domestic builders advertise and promote their business. BDAV Members who are domestic builders should be aware of the requirements. In essence, all registered domestic builders must provide the name of the registered building practitioner and their registration number(s) on any advertisements or written statements offering to carry out domestic building work. This is irrespective of their business type (sole trader, partnerships and companies) and the value of the domestic building work they undertake.

In addition, the name and registration number(s) of the registered building practitioner must be clearly legible in the advertisement or statement. In other words, it must include the name in full (i.e. its full company name if incorporated) and of a font size and type that can be read.

MBAV considers that this interpretation by the VBA of the regulations in relation to “advertising or written statements offering to carry out domestic building work” is too broad. MBAV will be seeking further clarification from the VBA on this.

However, as the law is in place, it is important that members remain compliant. As such, Master Builders recommends that all forms or documents or correspondence that is used to provide a contract, quote or estimate to clients should always include the builder’s name in full and registration number(s). We advise that this information also be included in your business cards. Where you have existing current advertising or promotional material that does not have the builder’s name or registration number on it, we advise that they be updated with the new requirements where possible. One way to achieve this is to use stickers or other means to ensure that the builder’s name and registration number(s) is included in a way that is clearly legible.

MBAV also recommend that any material promoting your business in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, etc, should also include the registered builder’s name in full and registered number(s). Similarly, it is also recommended to include the registered builder’s name in full and their registered number(s) in a prominent location of your business’ website or social media account(s), i.e. on the opening landing page near the bottom or top.

Doing the above recommendations will ensure that the new laws are complied with and avoid non-compliance, as failing to do this could mean that a building practitioner may face a penalty of up to $9,600 (60- penalty units) per offence.

The VBA has been writing to builders to tell them that the regulations “Require the name and registration number of a building practitioner, including companies, to be clearly legible in their advertisement and statements. This applies to business cards, posters and further advertising.