Carry Out Work Without a Building Permit
Have you been accused of Carry Out Work Without a Building Permit? If yes, it is important that you make time to see one of experienced lawyers to answer some of your important questions.
InterviewHave you been contacted by the Authorities to be interviewed about an allegation of Carrying Out Work Without a Building Permit? It is important to seek legal advice before speaking with the Authorities to make sure you understand your rights. You don’t want to answer questions which may harm your ability to defend the allegations.
An interview is part of the investigation. The investigator can use what you say as evidence to support a case against you. The interview is not an opportunity for you to explain your side of the story. Often the investigator has already decided that they will charge you, regardless of whether you answer any questions or not.
Pleading Not GuiltyIf you want to fight this charge, we will work hard to carefully examine the investigation and look for any issues. Something might have been missed, or there might be issues with the evidence the Authorities do have.
Our lawyers take a pro-active approach when representing our clients and will conduct our own investigation and work to get evidence to support your defence.
Pleading GuiltyIf you decide to plead guilty to this charge, our experienced lawyers will work with you to best prepare for a plea hearing. Our lawyers might be able to argue that the summary of offending should change because it may not accurately describe what actually happened. Our lawyers can also advise how best to prepare for the plea hearing, including organising character references and supporting materials. This preparation can make all the difference when you ultimately attend Court.
SentencingSentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria
Elements of the offenceThe Prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The accused has carried out building works as defined in the Act and building regulations; and
- During the time when the work was performed, the accused did not have a building permit
The Act defines ‘building work’ as ‘work for or in connection with the construction, demolition or removal of a building’. Examples of constructing in relation to a building is defined to include work done in connection with the construction, demolition, or removal of a building.1
Examples of Carrying out work without a building permit
- Building an extension without a permit
- Demolishing part of a building a load bearing wall without a permit
Schedule 3 of the Regulations lists some building works which can be carried out without a builder’s permit. The following is an example of some of the works:
- Building a pagoda as long as it does not exceed the prescribed size
- Repair, renewal or maintenance to an existing building structure
- Building a car port, garage or shed as long as it does not exceed the prescribed size
- Small excavation works
LegislationThe offence of building without a permit is governed by section 16(1) of the Building Act 1993 (Vic).
 Building Act 1993 (Vic), section 3.
- honest and reasonable mistake of belief
- lack of intent
- sudden or extraordinary emergency
- incorrect factual matrix
Questions in cases like this
- Do you have a permit?
- What did you build?
- Does what you built exceed the limits prescribed by the Regulations?
- Is what you did covered by the exemptions in the Regulations?
The maximum penalty the Court may impose for a charge of Carry Out Work Without a Building Permit (s16(1) of the Building Act 1993) on an individual is a fine of 500 penalty units (around $80,500).
The maximum penalty the Court may impose on a company is a fine of 2,500 penalty units (around $402,900). The sentenced received will depend on the severity of the breach.
Case studies related to Carry Out Work Without a Building Permit
- Carry Out Building Work Without Permit – Fine Without Conviction
- Building Works Without Permit – Good Behaviour Bond