Changes to NSW licensing laws: Know your rights

Changes to the NSW licensing laws come into effect during January and March 2015, including changes to the laws covering tradespeople. Being aware of these changes and the rules that apply to home building work could save you money down the track.

Did you know that NSW Fair Trading receives hundreds of complaints each year about unlicensed tradespeople? One of the difficulties is that it is not always clear when a tradesperson is required to hold a licence – something Glooloop Surfacing discovered when enquiring into obtaining our own licence. It was only after extensive consultation with Fair Trading that they were able to confirm that specialised surfacing work at residential premises (such as driveways and footpaths) would require a specialised licence issued by Fair Trading NSW.IMG_2957

If you are considering having work undertaken at your home, doing a simple licence check on the NSW Fair Trading website will give you the confidence that the person you are hiring has the relevant skills and qualifications for the work. For larger jobs, you will also have the peace of mind that the work is covered by the Home Building Compensation Fund (previously the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme).

Fair Trading NSW is the body responsible for issuing, renewing and cancelling licences for tradespeople working in NSW. It is also important to note that a contracting licence is required to be held by the entity that you are entering into a contract with, and a nominee supervisor licence is required to be held by an employee of that company.

Until recently, a licence was required for all home building work undertaken on a residential building, where the total cost of the work including labour, materials and GST was greater than $1,000. From 15 January 2015, the threshold increased to $5,000, allowing minor works to be completed by unlicensed handypersons.

From 15 Gravel driveway completeMarch 2015, there will be changes to the contract requirements for licence-holders. A simplified contract can now be used for works up to $20,000 including GST (previously only allowed for works up to $5,000). Further, deposit restrictions will now be 10% for all jobs over $5,000 (previously only 5% for jobs over $20,000).

In order to undertake jobs in excess of $20,000, a licenced tradesperson must also be eligible for insurance with the Home Building Compensation Fund. For each job undertaken in excess of $20,000, a certificate of insurance must be obtained, which protects the homeowner in the event that the builder does not complete the works or does not complete them satisfactorily. You should ensure a copy of the insurance certificate is provided to you before works commence.

Glooloop Surfacing is licensed in NSW, and is eligible for insurance with the Home Building Compensation Fund. We are also licensed in QLD and SA. Contact us to obtain a free quote for your gravel driveway or permeable paving.

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