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Residential Focus

24 February 2021

#Property, Planning & Development

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Residential Focus

New practice standards under the Building and Development Certifiers Act

The NSW Government has released the practice standard for registered certifiers (September 2020) (Practice Standard).

The Practice Standard are “standards and methodologies” prepared by the Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading under section 14 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 (B&DC Act).

The Practice Standard applies to registered certifiers undertaking certification work for new residential apartment buildings, being Class 2 buildings under the National Construction Code, including mixed-use buildings, which contain a Class 2 part.

The intent is that the requirements to comply with the Practice Standard are to be imposed through a condition of registration (section 14 of the B&DC Act). 

Where such a condition has been imposed, a registered certifier is required to carry out certification work in accordance with the Practice Standard and non-compliance with the Practice Standard could constitute a contravention of a condition of registration, which is an offence against section 20 of the B&DC Act and carries a maximum penalty of 300 penalty units (section 20 of the B&DC Act).

Failure to comply with the relevant condition can also be grounds for, under section 45(g) of the B&DC Act, taking disciplinary action against a registered certifier if they fail to comply with the condition of registration.

If a registered certifier has not yet had such a condition imposed on their registration then they are nevertheless encouraged by NSW Fair Trading to read the Practice Standard and apply it.

A copy of the Practice Standard can be found here.

Author: Peter Holt

In the media

Building Stronger Homes Roundtable generates ideas to support homes against natural disasters
The Building Stronger Homes Roundtable convened by the Insurance Council of Australia and Master Builders Australia has proposed a number of disaster mitigation and resilience initiatives that will help to strengthen existing homes and communities against extreme weather events (19 February 2021).  More...

Housing construction eclipses records
Construction on new houses will hit a record high this year, however, there are concerns this boom could be short-lived. Demographic shifts and HomeBuilder boosted this number however land constraints will limit new builds according to HIA (18 February 2021).  More...

Offshore interest accelerates build-to-rent
Australia’s booming build-to-rent development industry grew almost 70 per cent in the past 12 months off the back of substantial offshore investment (15 February 2021).  More...

Melbourne and Sydney tipped to be next BTR investment hotspots
Melbourne and Sydney are tipped for a Build-to-Rent (BTR) boom, says Assael Architecture, which has designed many key UK BTR projects backed by large institutions such as L&G, Grainger and Essential Living. More than 30 major BTR projects, totalling 11,667 homes, have been confirmed in Australia over the 12 months (12 February 2021).  More...

Global Resiliency Dialogue: The use of climate data and assessment of extreme weather event risks in building codes around the world
The Global Resiliency Dialogue have published their first report about the current integration of climate data and assessment of extreme weather events in building codes around the world. The survey that was undertaken by the core members of the Global Resiliency Dialogue, with participation from countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania (12 February 2021).  More...

Statement from Governing Council on review into RICS strategic direction
RICS Governing Council met on 10 February 2021 and initiated a review into the strategic direction and priorities of RICS. The Governing Council believes that the time is right to review the key pillars of its business plan (11 February 2021).  More...

Renewed push to make new homes accessible for all
More than 30 organisations have signed a letter to the PM urging new accessibility standards in the national construction code (11 February 2021).  More...

Developers forced to fix defects after commissioner wields new powers
The NSW Building Commissioner has shown he will not hesitate using one of his strongest powers to clean up the construction industry, issuing prohibition orders on several projects (19 February 2021).  More...

NSW gives green light for $1 billion north-west town centre
The creation of a town centre in Sydney’s north-west has been approved by the NSW Government. Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes says the new town centre will offer a diversity of housing for people with different lifestyles and open space that will include a park and plaza (18 February 2021).  More...

Green light for more solar in strata
The NSW Government has delivered on its promise to drive clean, reliable and affordable energy in NSW through the passage of new amendments in Parliament that make it easier to install renewable energy into strata buildings (17 February 2021).  More...

NSW Government starts process to remove high-risk cladding
The NSW Government has announced further details on the project to facilitate the removal of high-risk combustible cladding from residential apartment buildings across the State. Project Remediate would provide interest-free, 10-year loans, to Owners Corporations to enable and fast-track the safe removal of high-risk cladding (11 February 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Building Approvals data for small geographic areas
10 February 2021 – updated information – Building Approvals, Australia

Practice and courts

ABCB: Global Resiliency Dialogue survey findings
15 February 2021 – The ABCB, through the ABCB Office, is participating in a Global Resiliency Dialogue with counterpart organisations in Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Read more here.

ABCB: Improvements to the code’s structure and format will be implemented for NCC 2022
To guide users through the changes, the ABCB has developed a range of supporting resources that will be released in stages leading up to the publication of the NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft on 10 May 2021.

Adoption of NCC 2022 to be delayed
The delayed adoption will also see adjustments to key dates in the amendment cycle process for NCC 2022 to allow stakeholders time to participate. These adjusted dates include:
May – July 2021: NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft released for public consultation
May 2022: NCC 2022 Preview published here
If you have any questions regarding the delayed adoption of NCC 2022, please submit an online enquiry.

ABCB Consultation RIS: Lead in plumbing products in contact with drinking water
As part of the ABCB’s Lead in Plumbing Products Project, a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on lead in plumbing products in contact with drinking water was opened. The ABCB invites comment from all stakeholders using the online consultation form until 1 March 2021. Read more here.

ABCB Consultation: Independent third party review
A discussion paper for independent third party review is now open for public consultation. Recommendation 17 of the Building Confidence Report (BCR) proposes that "each jurisdiction requires genuine independent third party review for specified components of design and/or certain types of buildings." Responses to questions on the discussion paper, outlined in the consultation form, are invited until 28 February 2021. Read more here.

ABCB discussion paper: Mandatory on-site inspections for building work is now open for public consultation
Recommendation 18 of the Building Confidence Report proposes that "each jurisdiction has mandatory on-site inspections of building work at identified notification stages." Responses to questions on the discussion paper, outlined in the consultation form, are invited until 28 February 2021. Read more here.

Conflicts of interest – savings and transitional arrangements
Clause 71 of the Regulation introduces savings provisions for certain conflict of interest situations where the certifier was appointed before 1 July 2020 and the work will be completed before 1 July 2022. The provisions relate to council-certified developments and to developments where the certifier gave advice on how to comply with the BCA deemed to satisfy provisions. For all the changes, access the Amendment Regulation here.

The draft Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2020
The NSW Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 provisions of the Act will commence on 1 July 2021. The draft Design and Building Practitioners Regulation includes registration schemes for design and building practitioners and engineers who work on multistorey, multi-unit residential apartment buildings. The Government will finalise the Regulations in early 2021, ready to be implemented on 1 July 2021. Have your say and read more here.

New mandatory standards for building rectification
The standard will be reviewed and updated prior to the 1 July 2021 commencement of the Government’s game changing building reform agenda underpinned by the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020. The first Practice Standard will initially apply to certifiers working on residential apartment buildings, where the majority of problems and complaints have been received. The Practice Standard for registered certifiers is available on the Fair Trading NSW website.

NSW Revenue: Land tax build to rent
The NSW Government is introducing a land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects until 2040 and a new Housing Diversity SEPP to provide more housing options, greater surety for renters, boost construction and support jobs during the COVID-19 recovery.

NSW Revenue: extension to HomeBuilder grant
On 29 November 2020 the Australian Government announced an extension to the HomeBuilder program until 31 March 2021. Read more here.

Cases

NSW

JIH Building Design Pty Ltd & Anor v Raffie [2021] NSWCATAP 32
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NSW) – question of law – construing terms of agreement. Cl12 sch 4 leave grounds.
Civil & Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW); Civil and Administrative Tribunal Rules 2014; Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW).

Edrees v Commissioner for Fair Trading [2021] NSWCATAD 32
MERITS REVIEW – building and construction – home building – Home Building Act 1989 – experience – working overseas – instrument.

Legislation

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Build-to-rent Housing) Regulation 2021 (2021-41) – published LW 12 February 2021

Disclaimer
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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