137B Owner Builder Reports

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Who is an owner builder?

The person named on the building permit as both the property owner and the builder. Even if you technically didn’t lift a hammer yourself, but contracted tradesman to do the work, you are legally the owner builder. If there is no building permit then the property owner is the owner builder. 

Owner builder property defects reports are a legal requirement in Victoria. 137B Owner Builder Reports can only be completed by registered engineers, architects, surveyors and inspectors. Most local inspection companies cannot complete these reports.

Just Inspection Building Inspectors that complete 137B Owner Builder Reports are registered engineers, and complete all inspections and reports to the Australian standard AS 4349.1.

why is the owner builder inspection report required

Owner builder property inspection reports are required by law in the state of Victoria. There are also conditions where warranty insurance may be required in addition to the owner builder inspection report.

Victorian Legislation

Prior to selling owner built constructions, section 137B of the Victoria Building Act 1993 requires the building work to be inspected and reported on by a licenced building practitioner. The Report forms part of the Section 32 transfer documentation at time of sale.

The legislation applies to owner builders, for:


Work WITH a permit completed within the last six years and six months

Work with NO permit issued if completed within the last 10 years

Owner builder reports are required for works including the below, regardless of the size or cost of the project:

Renovations (including, but not limited to tiling, cabinetry, wall removal)
Retaining Walls
Decks and Pools

Warranty Insurance

If the trade value of the work is more than $16,000, a report AND warranty insurance is required. However, if the trade value of work is less than $16,000, a report is required and no warranty insurance.

What is inspected in an owner builder report?

Unlike a standard council mandatory inspection, as part of a Building Permit, a specialist 137B Owner Builder Defects Report details non-structural and cosmetic building elements including the quality of the workmanship.

The owner builder defects report highlights faults and defects in the building work and if second hand building materials have been used. We often find defects that were overlooked at previous mandatory inspections.

Our Melbourne Building Inspector will assess all accessible areas of your property including:

  • Decks
  • Carports / garages
  • Extensions
  • Kitchen renovations
  • Bathroom renovations
  • Full house renovations
  • Driveways
  • Tiling
  • Fences
  • Sheds
  • Retaining walls

Some common building defects identified include:

  • Ground level under house lower than external paving or landscaping
  • Insufficient freeboard to floor slab (AS 2870)
  • Insufficient clearance under windows (BCA 3.3)
  • Incorrect, missing or unsealed vertical articulation joints. (BCA
  • No safety glass
  • Scoring of metal valley flashings
  • Non-compliance of stairs
  • Sticky windows and doors

Owner Builder Inspection Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get Advice as an Owner Builder?

Most conveyancers and lawyers are well aware of this complex legislation. However basic information is available from the Just Inspections office together with assistance in obtaining warranty insurance, if required.

How long will it take to get an owner builder inspection report?

Just Inspections typically deliver owner builder defects reports within two to three days from booking the inspection.

We are usually able to complete the inspection at the property within 48 hours, then deliver the report one business day after the inspection.

Melbourne's Best Property Inspectors!

Just Inspections have been providing quality property inspection services across the Melbourne and Geelong area for over 30 years.

Here's what our clients have to say.

We couldn't have been more impressed with your service! From the first phone contact - you knew what we needed to do.

The inspector came very quickly, was very throrough, professional, happy to explain everything he checked and was a nice bloke!

The report came through promptly which allows us to proceed with the sale of our property, and the price was reasonable!

Again thank you! We would recommend your service to anyone in a similar situation to ourselves.


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