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Building Principal Place of Residence

The Home Building Contract Act 1991 (the Act) enables a registered building contractor to build their own 'principal place of residence' once every six years without having to obtain Home Indemnity Insurance.  If you are a registered building practitioner, you must apply for owner-builder approval.

To build your own principal place of residence you are required to lodge a Registered Building Contractor – Building a Principal Place of Residence statutory declaration with the Building Commissioner verifying that you have not within the last 6 years obtained a building licence or permit for residential building work for which home indemnity insurance was not required.

The Building Commission will write to you advising whether you have satisfied section 25B(3)(b) of the Act in respect of the requirement of not providing Home Indemnity Insurance.

Please note: No owner-builder fee is payable 


Constructing a second principal place of residence

It is an offence to obtain another building licence to construct your principal place of residence within six years from a building licence being issued for the purpose of constructing your own home and for which no home indemnity insurance was required.

To construct a second principal place of residence within the six year period you must first obtain the written exemption from the Minister for Commerce. 

Selling your principal place of residence

It is an offence to sell your principal of place of residence within three years of obtaining the building licence unless you obtain the written exemption from the Minister for Commerce.

If you intend to sell your principal of place of residence within seven years of the date of issue of the building licence you must:

  • obtain home indemnity insurance for the remainder of the seven year period; and
  • provide the purchaser with a valid insurance certificate.

If you are unable to obtain home indemnity insurance you can not sell the property within the seven year period.


Application to the Minister for Commerce

For approval to obtain another building licence without the requirement for home indemnity insurance OR to sell your principal place of residence within three years, applicants must lodge a Statutory Declaration and satisfy the Minister that:

  • a change of circumstances has occurred; and
  • the applicant would suffer hardship if the application was refused.

Send your written application to:

Building Commissioner 
C/- Licensing and Applications Manager
Building Commission
Locked Bag 12
West Perth  WA  6872

The Building Commissioner's office will then contact you in writing within 14 days of receiving your application.