Definition of a builder and building work

Building work means the whole or part of the work of constructing, erecting, underpinning, altering, repairing, improving, adding to or demolish a building/structure.

A builder is any person, or company, who

  • Carries on a business as a building work contractor.
  • Does building work to sell or let land/buildings.
  • Does demolition or site preparation for new works.
  • Does restoration or repairs of buildings/structures – internal or external – including such tasks as:
  • painting
  • installation of robes/cupboards
  • fencing/stone masonry
  • air conditioner installation.

As such, they must be licensed as a contractor under the Builders Work Contractors Act 1995 with a nominated Building Supervisor. This includes sub-contractors.

If you are operating in a partnership with another person, then each partner must hold their own licence.

As a builder, you are able to limit your licence to specific work types (eg you can be a licensed builder limited to aluminium window and door installation). A builder working with specific conditions must not accept or undertake work outside of those conditions.

What does a building supervisor do?

A registered building work supervisor is responsible for ensuring that all building work performed is properly supervised and meets required building standards.

A building work supervisor registration alone does NOT allow you to contract or subcontract for building work. To enter into a contract to perform building work you must hold an individual building work contractor licence (see guidelines for contractors).

As the holder of a building work supervisor registration you may agree to be nominated as the approved building work supervisor of either an individual contractor or company.

Can I do Plumbing, gas fitting and electrical work?

Any plumbing, gas fitting or electrical work (including work done on your own home) must be performed by a person holding a worker’s registration under the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995.

A building work contractor’s licence may allow you to contract for this work, but you must engage a suitably registered worker to perform it.

Do I need a licence?

You are not required to hold a building work contractor’s licence if you:

Obligations of a builder

Advertising and signage

In any advertisement, contractors must state their name as it appears on the licence (or registered business name) and licence number, including each partner’s licence number (if applicable unless the advertisement is only offering employment or is directed solely at other building work contractors.

Contractors must place a sign in a prominent position on every building site on which they are working, unless they are working as a sub-contractor and the principal contractor has their sign on display. The sign must show the same name and licence details as required on advertisement.

Indemnity Insurance

Indemnity Insurance applies to domestic building work and protects the building owner (and any future owner) from the non-completion of the building work and/or failure to fix the work by the contractor if they die, disappear or become insolvent, within five years from the date of completion, and may have a maximum value of $80,000.

Contractors must take out indemnity insurance where the domestic building work is $12,000 and over ($5,000 and over prior to 15 October 2001), and council approval is required.

Contractors must give a copy of the Certificate of Insurance (a Form 2) to the building owner (ie. the consumer or client) before any work begins.

Building Contracts

Domestic building contract must have a written contract if the value of the building work is $12,000 and over ($5,000 and over prior to 15 October 2001).

Building contracts must:

  • be in writing and legible
  • show the business name of the contractor and licence number and the names and licence numbers of business partners (if applicable)
  • be signed by the contractor and owner (or their agents)
  • stipulate a fixed price (can include a “rise and fall” clause,) and payment terms.

Form 1

Must be attached to the contract. The contractor must give the building owner a signed copy of the contract with the Form 1.

Statements of compliance

As a licensed contractor you have the responsibility to issue SOCs for building work performed where approval is required. Any enquiries relating to SOCs or technical matters can be directed to your local council or Planning SA on (08) 8303 0602.

Statutory warranties

By law, a contractor must provide certain warranties when they perform domestic building work. These cover issues such as:

  • the quality of materials and workmanship
  • compliance with plans, specifications and legal requirements
  • completing the work within a reasonable time
  • meeting the end result that was requested and
  • if constructing a house, the house must be reasonably fit for human habitation.

Claims against these warranties can be made up to five years after the building work was completed.

You are also liable for defective building work under the Development Act 1993 for ten years.

If you are concerned about the safety of a recent installation by an electrician, contact the Office of the Technical Regulator to discuss lodging a complaint (PDF 203KB).

 

Click to view further information on Statutory Warranties.

Security of payment

For information on this topic, please refer to the Small Business Commissioner.

Roof truss installation

Development Regulations have been amended to introduce responsibilities for builders, supervisors and contractors in relation to the installation of roof trusses.

Compulsory checklists, notifications and inspection policies have also been introduced. Only persons who have completed a course of training in relation to the installation of roof trusses are able to sign off a checklist. Further information is available at www.sa.gov.au including an online checklist that builders or property owners can use to determine the level of risk in their roof or structure.

The amendments follow the South Australian Coroner’s report into the collapse of a roof truss frame at the Riverside Golf Club in 2002, resulting in two fatalities.  The Coroner raised concerns about the process of design, transport, manufacture, installation and modification of roof trusses.

The South Australian Government has implemented a number of initiatives in response to the Coroner’s report to prevent similar roof truss failures.  Read the guide or watch the YouTube videos to learn how these changes affect you.

Are you considered a worker?

Any person, including builders, who personally carry out plumbing, gas fitting or electrical work must hold the appropriate workers registration (including working on their own home, or for family and friends). Apprentices and other people undertaking training as part of an on-the-job training contract with their employer are also required to hold a workers registration.

Licence not required

You are not required to hold a plumbing, gas fitting or electrical contractors licence if you are:

  • Conducting a business as a builder, building contractor or architect (other types of licences or registrations must be held to undertake these occupations); or
  • Conducting another business, the main purpose of which is the construction, installation, alteration, repair or maintenance of a building, structure, plant or equipment, subject to the condition that any plumbing, gas fitting or electrical work for which your contract is performed by a person who is properly registered under the Act.

However, in either of these instances the plumbing, gas fitting or electrical work must be performed in the ordinary course of your business and must be performed by a person authorised by licence or registration under the Act to perform or carry out work of that kind.

Definitions and exemptions

Please refer to Section 4 of the Act for definitions on plumbing, gas fitting and electrical work and Regulation 4 for a list of exemptions or contact us for further advice.

Certificates of compliance (COC)

As a licensed contractor you have a responsibility to issue COCs for any plumbing, gas fitting or electrical work carried out in South Australia. COC forms and information are available from:

  • Office of the Technical Regulator:
    • Gas fitting and electrical work only  phone 8226 5500,
    • Plumbing work only phone 1300 760 311
    • Lodge a complaint (PDF 203KB)

Finishing your Security Qualification? What’s Next?

To work in the security industry you need to hold a security agents licence. You can generate an application form via Apply Online.  A copy of your qualifications must be provided with the application form.

Work that requires a licence

  • General Guarding
  • Body Guarding
  • Crowd or Venue Control
  • Systems Work (security alarm/ surveillance systems)

Fingerprinting

As part of the application process you will need to be fingerprinted by South Australia Police and undergo comprehensive criminal history checks. To start this process you will need to complete a Person Information Declaration which must be submitted with your licence application. The police will contact you directly for an appointment.

Crowd or venue control

If you intend to work as a crowd controller in venues that serve alcohol you will need to obtain an approval under the Liquor Licensing Act 1997. You can submit this form at the same time as the security agent licence application.

Crowd Controller Application

Firearms licence

If you intend to guard with a firearm you will need to obtain a H6 category firearms licence once you have been issued a security agents licence. Contact the Firearms Branch of SA Police on (08) 7322 3346 for further information.

Licence not required

The Act does not apply to a wide range of people. You are not required to hold a licence as a security agent or investigation agent if you are:

  • A member of the police force of South Australia.
  • A sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer, bailiff or other officer of a court or tribunal, while performing official functions.
  • A person who holds the required qualifications in loss adjusting while practising as a loss adjuster.
  • Employed as a shop assistant who provides advice on security alarm or surveillance systems only as an incidental part of their duties; or acting in the ordinary course of the profession or business and you are a person registered as an agent under the Land Agents Act 1994.
  • A person who practises as a legal practitioner, or a person performing only clerical or secretarial functions on behalf of an agent.

For a complete list of exemptions, please refer to Section 4 and Section 5 of the Act.

Security & investigation industry associations

There are a number of associations that represent the security and investigation industry which offer a variety of services to their members and the industry in general. Engagement with these associations is voluntary and you do not need to be a member of any association to obtain a licence. A list of associations and their contact details can be accessed via the link below. Information contained in this document was provided by the associations themselves and has not been verified by CBS.

If you are an association involved in the security and investigation industry and you would like to be added to our contact list please email your details to occupational@sa.gov.au  attention the Team Leader, Licensing.

Industry associations

Security agents

You are considered to be acting as a security agent if you perform one or more of the following work functions:

  • Crowd or venue control
    • Controlling crowds
  • Body guarding
    • Protecting or guarding a person or keeping a person under surveillance; and
    • Preventing, detecting or investigating the commission of an offence in relation to a person
  • General guarding
    • Protecting or guarding property or keeping property under surveillance (other than in a manner involving a dog or while in possession of a firearm); and
    • Preventing, detecting or investigating the commission of an offence in relation to property
  • Guarding with a dog
    • Protecting or guarding property, or keeping property under surveillance, in a manner involving a dog; and
    • Hiring out or otherwise supplying dogs or other animals for the purpose of protecting or guarding property
  • Guarding with a firearm
    • Protecting or guarding property, or keeping property under surveillance, while in possession of a firearm within the meaning of the Firearms Act 1977
  • Monitoring centre operations
    • Protecting or guarding property, or keeping property under surveillance, by means of monitoring a security alarm or surveillance system whether from the place at which the property is located or from another place (but not by means of attendance in response to an alarm)
  • Security systems work
    • Providing advice on security alarm or surveillance systems; and
    • Hiring out or otherwise supplying security alarm or surveillance systems; and
    • Installing or maintaining security alarm or surveillance systems
  • Security systems work limited to providing sales and advice only
    • Providing advice on security alarm or surveillance systems; and
    • Hiring out or otherwise supplying security alarm or surveillance systems

Investigation agents

You are considered to be acting as an investigation agent if you perform one or more of the following work functions:

  • Collection work associated with:
    • ascertaining the whereabouts of or repossessing goods that are subject to a security interest
    • collecting or requesting the payment of debts
    • executing legal process for the enforcement of a judgement or order of a court; and
    • executing distress for the recovery of rates, taxes or money
  • Inquiry work associated with:
    • obtaining or providing (without the written consent of a person) information about the personal character or actions of the person or about the business or occupation of the person
    • searching for missing persons; and
    • obtaining evidence for the purpose of legal proceedings (whether the proceedings have been commenced or are prospective).

Security industry training

You are considered to be security industry trainer or a security industry training provider if you perform one or more of the following work functions:

  • Security industry trainer
    • If you personally provide security industry training
  • Security industry training provider
    • If you carry on business providing security industry training

Security industry training is defined as:

training designed to provide a person with a qualification determined by the Commissioner to be required for a person to be eligible to hold a security agents licence (other than a licence authorising only the performance of functions relating to security alarm or surveillance systems); or

training required by the Commissioner to be completed by the holder of a security agents licence that authorises the licensee to perform the function of controlling crowds; or

training of a kind prescribed by the regulations.

Process servers

Process servers, who, for fee or reward, serve a writ, summons or other legal process, are now negatively licensed. This means that a licence is no longer required to practice this occupation. However, if you intend to run a business or employ someone to perform this type of work you (and your employee) must not have been found guilty or convicted of a prescribed offence.

Crowd controllers

General offences

  • Carrying on business, or otherwise acting as a security agent whilst unlicensed – maximum penalty $20,000 [section 6(1)(a)].
  • Advertising or holding out as being entitled to carry on business or acting as a security agent whilst unlicensed – maximum penalty $20,000 [section 6(1)(b)].
  • Employing a person or a company as a security agent who is not appropriately licensed – maximum penalty $20,000 [section 12A].
  • A licensed security agent must not act outside the authority of their licence – maximum penalty $10,000 [section 15].
  • A person must not supply or lend any document or assist another person to falsely pretend to be a licensed security agent – maximum penalty $10,000 [section 16].
  • A person must not act as a security agent or act as a director of a body corporate that is a security agent or carry on business as a security agent against a Court order – maximum penalty $35,000 or six months imprisonment [section 30].

Working on a licensed premises

See Approval of crowd controller.

Identification cards

A licensed security agent who is authorised to perform the function of a crowd controller must wear an identification card:

  • on their chest securely attached to the outside of their clothing (lanyards are not acceptable)
  • so that the number can be clearly seen by other persons at all times whilst performing those duties.- maximum penalty $1,250, expiation fee $160 [section 20(2), regulation 12].

A person who carries on a business or event and employs crowd controllers must ensure that each crowd controller is issued with an identification card as required by regulation – maximum penalty $2,500, expiation fee $160 [regulations 11(1)(a), 11(2) and 11(3)]

An identification card must:

  • be legible with black characters on white background
  • have a one, two or three digit number – minimum 4cm high and 5mm thick
  • contain the word ‘security’ – minimum 5mm high
  • contain the name of place or event where working – minimum 5mm high
  • be issued before the commencement of duty
  • have a different number for each crowd controller.

Example identification card

Licence card

A licensed security agent must carry their licence at all times when performing duties under their licence and produce it if requested to do so by:

  • a police officer
  • the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs
  • an authorised officer under the Fair Trading Act 1987
  • any person that the agent has dealings with whilst on duty.- maximum penalty $1,250, expiation fee $160 [section 20(1)].

Front display

The front of a valid security agent’s licence will:

  • display the words ‘Authorised by Commissioner for Consumer Affairs’
  • display the words ‘Security and Investigation Industry Act 1995′
  • display the words ‘South Australia’
  • contain the agent’s legal name
  • feature a photograph of the agent
  • display a licence number with the prefix ‘ISL’
  • display an end date which has not expired
  • display the words ‘agents licence’ with at least ‘security’
  • have a background featuring a floral image of Sturt’s desert pea and the South Australia Government seal depicting the piping shrike
  • be overlayed with a pattern of holograms featuring the South Australia Government seal depicting the piping shrike.

Back display

The back of a valid security agent’s licence will indicate the scope of the licence. The agent’s licence must be endorsed at least as ‘security agent – crowd or venue control work’ if required to perform that function.

The types of licences include:

  • an unrestricted licence which allows a natural person or a body corporate to contract for business (note: a body corporate is issued with a licence certificate only), or
  • a licence limited to contracting in partnership with another only, or
  • a licence restricted to work as an employee only, or
  • a licence restricted to work as an employee under supervision only (must be directly supervised by a natural person who holds a security agent’s licence and is not subject to supervision themself).

Example licence card

Front

When inspecting an agent’s licence, remove it from any covering and alter the viewing angles to authenticate the holograms.

Back

Must be endorsed at least with the function of ‘security agent – crowd or venue control’ if required to perform that
function.

 

Security Register

A person who carries on a business or event and employs crowd controllers must ensure that a security register is kept as required by regulation – maximum penalty $2,500, expiation fee $160 [regulations 11(1)(b) and 11(4)].

The security register must be readily available for inspection and copying if requested by a police officer, an authorised officer under the Fair Trading Act 1987 or a person authorised by the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs – maximum penalty $2,500 [regulation 11(5)].

A security register must contain the:

  • full name and full address of the person or company who carries on the business or event
  • full name and full address of the place for which the security register is kept
  • full name and full address of each crowd controller
  • identification card number of each crowd controller
  • licence number of each crowd controller
  • start and finish time of each crowd controller.

The security register must be kept:

  • at the place or event (whilst it continues) at all times
  • or in any other case, at some other place of business or residence of the person or entity who carried on the business or event
  • for at least six months
  • or longer than six months if requested to do so in writing by:
    • a police officer
    • the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs
    • an authorised officer under the Fair Trading Act 1987.

Security register template

The Security and investigation agents template (PDF 107KB) is printable and may be used to record the essential minimum requirements of a security register.

Nominated managers

The nominated manager for your company must be registered as a land agent. If they are not registered with our office they will need to apply to be registered before they can be nominated as the manager.

Trust accounts

As a registered land agent you are required to deposit monies from your clients into a trust account in accordance with the rules set down under the Land Agents Regulations 2010.

For instance, you must:

      • Maintain a trust account – where you are accepting trust money, and depositing the money in an account approved by the Commissioner at a bank, building society or credit union.
      • Keep detailed records of trust money – by compiling detailed accounts of receipts and disbursements.
      • Withdraw money from a trust account – only under circumstances set out in the Act.
      • Arrange for accounts and records to be audited – on an annual basis; from the end of your last audit period (in the case of a new registration, from the date of registration) until two months before the date upon which your annual return is due or, a date nominated by you and approved by the Commissioner.
      • Accept cooling-off notices from purchasers.
      • Verify vendor’s statements containing particulars in relation to land.
      • Supply to vendors copies of all written offers for purchase, contracts, agreements or documents.
      • Ensure that you do not have a beneficial interest in the purchase of land or a business you are commissioned to sell.

Audit check list

New rules when foreign residents sell Australian property

Properties that sell for $2million or more on or after 1 July 2016 have a 10% capital gains withholding tax. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has prepared material for land agents about the implications of these rules for vendors and purchasers and impacts on settlement. Any enquiries about the material should be directed to the ATO on 13 28 66.

Purchasing property you, and/or your company are managing

Section 24G – application for exemption

Conveyancer information

Any person or company, other than a legal practitioner, who carries on business or holds themselves out as a conveyancer, must be registered under the Conveyancers Act 1994.

You are considered to be carrying on business as a conveyancer if your business involves the preparation of conveyancing documentation (instruments), as required under the Real Property Act 1886, for fee or reward.

If a business operates as a partnership then each partner must hold a registration.

If you are a company and wish to work in partnership with another entity you will need to obtain approval of the Commissioner. Please contact our office for more information.

Registration not required

You are not required to hold a registration as a conveyancer if you prepare conveyancing documentation for fee or reward in the course of practising as a legal practitioner.

Penalties

If you trade as a Conveyancer without holding a registration and you are convicted by the courts, you may be liable for a penalty of up to $20,000.

Individuals

If you intend operating a business as an individual you will need to hold a registration and meet the registration requirements.

You are entitled to be registered as a conveyancer if you  meet the following criteria:

  • You are not an insolvent under administration (eg bankrupt) within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth
  • You are not suspended or disqualified from practising or carrying on an occupation, trade or business under Australian law
  • During the last 5 years you have not been a director of a body corporate wound up for the benefit of creditors either when it was being wound up or within 6 months before it commenced winding up
  • You have not been convicted of a an indictable offence of dishonesty
  • You have not, within the period of 10 years preceding the application, been convicted of a summary offence of dishonesty
  • You are a fit and proper person
  • Have undertaken one of the approved training courses.

Guidelines for individual applicants

Companies

If you intend operating the business through a company (body corporate), the company must apply for a registration.

The Act requires a registered conveyancer that is a company to ensure that the business is properly managed and supervised by a registered conveyancer who is a natural person. This person must be nominated on the registration application in addition to director details.

Your company is entitled to hold registration if:

  • it has not been suspended or disqualified from carrying on an occupation, trade or business
  • it is not being wound up and is not under official management or receivership
  • each director is a fit and proper person to be the director of a company that is registered as a conveyancer
  • each director has not been, in the last five years, a director of a company wound up for the benefit of creditors
  • each director has not been suspended or disqualified from carrying on an occupation, trade or business
  • each director has not been convicted of an indictable offence of dishonesty and each director has not, in the last 10 years, been convicted of a summary offence of dishonesty.

In addition a conveyancing company is also not entitled to be registered unless its constitution and articles of association contain stipulations as set out under the Act.

Guidelines for company applicants

Partnerships

If you intend operating a business in partnership, each of the partners needs to hold a registration and meet the registration requirements.

If the Commissioner refuses your registration you can appeal to the District Court within one month from the date of refusal.

Trust accounts for conveyancers

As a registered conveyancer you are required to deposit monies received from your clients into a trust account in accordance with the rules under the Conveyancers Regulations 2010. 

For instance, you must:

  • maintain a trust account – where you accept trust money and deposit it into an account approved by the Commissioner at a bank, building society or credit union
  • keep detailed records of trust money – by compiling detailed accounts of receipts and disbursements
  • withdraw money from a Trust Account – only under circumstances set out in the Act
  • issue accurate and detailed receipts – in the manner set out in the Act and the Regulations
  • arrange for accounts and records to be audited on an annual basis from the end of your last audit period – or in the case of a new registration, from the date of registration – until two months before the date upon which your annual return is due or a date nominated by you and approved by the Commissioner
  • ensure you do not act for both the transferor and transferee, or the grantor and grantee, of property or rights under a transaction.

Audit check list

Insurance

If you operate a business as a conveyancer, then you must have professional indemnity insurance.

You will be required to supply proof of insurance each year on renewal of your registration. This can be done by supplying a copy of the insurance certificate.

 

In order to be considered qualified as a conveyancer, you must successfully complete one of the training courses set out in the Conveyancer Qualifications.

If you have a qualification that is not listed, or if you have completed your studies overseas, you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning; contact a Registered Training Organisation to discuss your options.

Trust accounts for conveyancers

As a registered conveyancer you are required to deposit monies received from your clients into a trust account in accordance with the rules under the Conveyancers Regulations 2010. 

For instance, you must:

  • maintain a trust account – where you accept trust money and deposit it into an account approved by the Commissioner at a bank, building society or credit union
  • keep detailed records of trust money – by compiling detailed accounts of receipts and disbursements
  • withdraw money from a Trust Account – only under circumstances set out in the Act
  • issue accurate and detailed receipts – in the manner set out in the Act and the Regulations
  • arrange for accounts and records to be audited on an annual basis from the end of your last audit period – or in the case of a new registration, from the date of registration – until two months before the date upon which your annual return is due or a date nominated by you and approved by the Commissioner
  • ensure you do not act for both the transferor and transferee, or the grantor and grantee, of property or rights under a transaction.

New rules when foreign residents sell Australian property

Properties that sell for $2million or more on or after 1 July 2016 have a 10% capital gains withholding tax. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has prepared material for conveyancers about the implications of these rules for vendors and purchasers and impacts on settlement. Any enquiries about the material should be directed to the ATO on 13 28 66.

Registration not required

You are not required to hold a registration as a conveyancer if you prepare conveyancing documentation for fee or reward in the course of practising as a legal practitioner.

Registration of premises

You cannot carry on business as a licensed dealer without first registering your business premises with the Commissioner, who must be satisfied that the premises is suitable. You:

  • Can apply to register your premises upon application for a licence. However, if you make a separate application to have your premises approved at a later date, a fee will apply.
  • Must supply a copy of the Council’s letter approving the premises as a suitable place to sell second-hand motor vehicles.

Compensation fund

The Second-hand Vehicles Compensation Fund (the Fund) is administered by the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs and has been set up to protect the consumer should a dealer default on their obligations.

  • All licensed dealers are required to pay a contribution to the Fund each year when they renew their licence.
  • If you do not pay this contribution your licence is suspended until such time the payment is made.
  • A fee is required to be paid by the licensee for each registered premises. In the case of partnerships, only one member of the partnership is required to pay the fee into the fund.

Negative licensing

Dealers must check that there are no disqualifying factors (such as criminal convictions) for the salespeople they employ. A person must not act or be employed by a dealer as a salesperson if they:

  • have been convicted of an indictable offence of dishonesty; or
  • have been convicted of a summary offence of dishonesty during the last 10 years; or
  • is suspended or disqualified from practising or carrying on an occupation, trade or business under a law of a State or Territory or Commonwealth.

It is an offence for both the dealer and the salesperson.

The prohibition of employing or acting as a salesperson will not apply to a salesperson already employed or acting before 29 November 2010 unless the salesperson is convicted, disqualified or suspended after that date.

A salesperson may be subject to disciplinary action if they have acted unlawfully, improperly, negligently or unfairly.

Backyard selling

A person is presumed to be a dealer if he or she buys or offers to buy or sells or offers for sale, at least four second-hand vehicles during a period of 12 months (unless they can demonstrate the vehicles were bought or sold for private purposes).

Under the changes to the law, a person and a close associate are presumed to be dealers, if between them, they buy or offer to buy or sell or offer for sale, six or more second-hand vehicles during a 12 month period (unless they can demonstrate the vehicles were bought or sold for private purposes).

If a vehicle’s registration is transferred from one person to another, it is presumed that the vehicle was sold, unless it can be proved to the contrary.

Duty to repair

According to the law, a dealer has a statutory duty to repair defects present in the vehicle or that appear in the vehicle after the sale. Any accessory originally fitted, produced or approved by the vehicle’s manufacturer are covered under any applicable statutory warranty period and also covered by consumer guarantees under Australian Consumer Law.  After-market accessories remain excluded from the statutory warranty.