Dodgy Building Certifiers - WLG BLOG

Dodgy Building Certifiers

Posted: October 26, 2018 2:22 am Categories:

Who is a dodgy building certifier?

They are building certifiers who certify defective building work as being compliant with the the Building Codes, Regulations and Standards.

Therefore, home owners are most definitely at risk.

Building a new home?

Having an extension built?

Wanting to do some expensive renovations or refurbishments?

Your local council will require you to engage a building surveyor as a private certifier.


Certification can be a big part of a Building Surveyor’s work.

When you sign up with your builder to do some residential building work, unless it is a very small job, most likely you will need to involve a building surveyor.


If  may be expensive to rectify defective or incomplete building work and may also delay your occupation of your home.

It could force you to rent other accommodation for an extended period.

Not a pleasant situation to be in.

So whose fault is this?

Who can you sue?


Defective work could be the result of –

  • Defective design drawings and specifications
  • Defective building work
  • Negligent and misleading certifications given by the building surveyor acting as private certifier.


Working out who is to blame, who can be held accountable and how much of the blame can be apportioned to each defendant can be a complex exercise.

A builder can’t be made responsible for a negligent construction design or incorrect specifications.

The job of the builder surveyor acting as private certifier is to check compliance with applicable building codes and standards and to refuse to certify non-compliant work.

A competent certifier doing his job diligently and correctly  protects the home owner from paying the builder and designer for defective work.

A home owner should be able to rely on the certifier to identify non-compliant work and refuse to certify it until it does comply.

Too often certifiers are certifying defective builder work as being compliant and issuing occupation certificates when they shouldn’t.


Some private building certifiers are too closely connected with the builders who engage their services on a building project.

If they have a conflict of interest they should not be the independent certifier and should decline the job.


Home owners have a right to rely on building certifiers to do their job conscientiously and diligently to protect them against accepting and paying for defective and/or incomplete building work.


Whitelaw Legal Group specialises in advising home owners in this area of the law.  Call  us for a free consultation.


Christopher Whitelaw|Director



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