Are you building?

Are you building? Make sure you budget for Protection Works.

Under the Building Act 1993 (Vic) you are obligated to protect your neighbours’ properties from damage that could occur from building work on your property.

Such “Protection Work” includes the underpinning of the footings, shoring up and overhead protection of your neighbour’s property, as well as any other work to maintain its stability and protection from damage.

Your building surveyor should determine whether any protection works are necessary.

What you need to do

You should follow the following process to give notice and obtain access in relation to Protection Work on your neighbour’s property:

  1. Give a notice that complies with the Act to your neighbour that includes the proposed protection work.
  2. Your neighbour has 14 days to disagree or request further information. If your neighbour doesn’t respond in that timeframe, they are taken to have agreed with the protection works and you can proceed to carry them out.
  3. Under the Act, you are entitled to enter your neighbour’s property between the hours of 8am and 6pm to carry out the protection work. It is an offence for your neighbour to obstruct you from carrying out the protection work.
  4. If your neighbour disagrees or requests further information, the relevant building surveyor must examine the notice and determine the appropriateness of the proposed protection work. They can ask the owner to give more information or make a determination in relation to the protection works notice. Under the Act, the Surveyor has the power to decide whether the protection work is appropriate and if not, to modify the proposed protection work.
  5. If you or your neighbour aren’t happy with the surveyor’s decision, you can both appeal to the Building Appeals Board for a determination. The Building Appeals Board is an independent statutory body that makes decisions about matters in relation to the Victorian building legislation.

When planning your building project it is important to budget for the time and cost involved with complying with the protection works provisions under the Act.

To discuss your project, contact Anish Wilson or Peter Lettieri.