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What is the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017?

An Overview on the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017

The Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) supersedes its predecessor, the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2007 (Vic). Further, the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) is Victoria’s domestic building regulations authorised under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).

Broadly, the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) is Victoria’s building legislation that regulates the domestic construction industry. As part of the Act’s purpose, it expressly sets out:

  • the regulation of contracts for the carrying out of domestic building work.
  • the provision of resolution regarding domestic building disputes and other matters at VCAT.
  • the requirement for builders carrying out domestic building work to be covered by insurance.

In this article, we address the frequently asked questions that builders, building owners and property developers may have regarding the format and layout of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic):

What are the objectives of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic)?

There are six objectives prescribed in the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) that affects the operation of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic). The objectives of the domestic building regulations are thematically listed:

ObjectivesSummary of Objectives
Certain Works and ExemptionsAs part of the objectives listed in the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic), there are objectives to prescribe certain work as building work to which the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) does not apply, and also exempt certain persons and contracts from various provisions of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).

The kind of works and exemptions that apply to persons and contracts are formally listed in the regulations of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic).
Cost Plus ContractsAn objective of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) is to allow certain contracts to be cost plus contracts for the purposes of section 13 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).

The type and kind of cost-plus contracts that may be permitted are described in the regulations.
Progress PaymentsAn objective of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) is to regulate progress payments, including: the manner that parties to a contract may agree on how the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) may not apply.

The method and manner that the parties may agree as to the performance of progress payments are described in the regulations and Schedule 1 of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic), in context to the legal operation of progress payments prescribed in the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).
Fees for RequestsAn objective of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) is to prescribe a fee for requests to the chief dispute resolution officer for an assessor under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).

The relevant prescribed fee is listed in the regulations of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic).
Major Domestic Building ContractsAn objective of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) is to fix contract price amount for the carrying out of domestic building work for the purposes defining major domestic building contract in the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).

The regulations currently set an amount for the contract price as $10,000.

What is the form and layout of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017?

The form and layout of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) contains fourteen regulations and a Schedule 1. The table of provisions of the relevant regulations are set out:

RegulationsSummary Of Regulatory Content
1Objectives
2Authorising Provision
3Revocation
4Commencement
5Definitions
6Major domestic building contract – Contract price for the carrying out of domestic building work
7Building work to which Act does not apply – work to be carried out under a contract for one type of work only
8Building work to which the Act does not apply – certain buildings and premises
9Building work to which the Act does not apply – subdivisions
10Type of cost plus contract allowed
11Certain contracts exempt from the provisions of the Act
12Certain persons exempt from provisions in the Act
13Progress payments
14Fee for request to chief dispute resolution officer for assessor

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A general overview of the regulations listed in the table of provisions are generally explored below:

What is listed in Regulations 1 to 5 (Objectives, Authorising Provisions, Revocation, Commencement, and Definitions)?

As a general overview of Regulations 1 to 4, they list:

  • the objectives of the regulations, authorisations under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).
  • the revocation of the predecessor, Domestic Building Contract Regulations 2007 (Vic).
  • when the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) should commence.
  • statutory definitions on specific terms for the the purposes of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2007 (Vic).

Read More: For more information about the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995, “What is the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995?” provides an introduction to the application of the legislation.

What is listed in Regulations 6 (Major Domestic Building Contract)?

This regulation prescribes the contract price for the purposes of the statutory term, major domestic building contract, as defined in the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).

For a general understanding on domestic building contracts, other legal topics also include:

What is listed in Regulations 7 to 9 (Building works)?

As a general overview of Regulations 7 to 9, the regulations prescribe certain types of work as not building work that the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) will not apply if it meets prescribed categories. Those categories, include: work carried out, buildings and premises, and subdivisions.

Read More: For more information about domestic building works, “What is domestic building work in Victoria?” provides an overview on the statutory meaning of domestic building work.

What is listed in Regulations 10 (Cost plus contracts)?

As a general overview of Regulation 10, the regulation prescribes certain classes of cost-plus contracts that may be permitted within the relevant provisions in Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).

What is listed in Regulation 11 to 12 (Exempt Contracts and Persons)?

As a general overview of Regulations 11 to 12, the regulations prescribe that certain contracts may be exempt from the application of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic) if prescribed conditions are met such as the type of contract entered, or class of persons.

What is listed in Regulation 13 (Progress payments)?

As a general overview of Regulation 13, this regulation describes the method that parties may agree on structuring of progress payments and the conditions that the parties must follow as set out in the regulations and Schedule 1.

What is listed in Regulation 14 (Fees for Request)?

As a general overview of Regulation 14, this regulation sets out the prescribed fee that may accompany a request to the chief dispute resolution officer for directing an assessor, under the relevant provisions of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (Vic).

What is contained in Schedule 1 of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017?

Schedule 1 of the Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017 (Vic) contains two forms: Form 1 and Form 2. Form 1 is a Notice to Building Owners regarding change of legal rights relating to Progress Payments, and Form 2 is a Notice regarding amendments to the payments regarding Progress Payments. Both forms require the signature of the building owner.

Notes and Further Information

On topics relating to construction and built form, our related topics include:

Other topics relating to the general principles of contract law, include:

If you are looking for legal expertise and have any questions, connect with an author or a member of our building and construction team.

Do you need legal advice? Call us on (03) 5331 1244 to get in touch and arrange an appointment with one of our lawyers.

You can also connect with us by filling out your details and telling us about your information for legal advice below:

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Authored by:
Ben Franklin, Managing Partner (LIV Accredited Specialist – Property Law), &
Matthew Tran, Lawyer.

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