Review of a decision about building work

You can seek a review of some decisions made as part of the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) process or by Victoria Building Authority (VBA).

DBDRV decisions we can review

Apply to VCAT to review:

  • a decision to issue or amend a dispute resolution order
  • a decision to issue a notice of breach of dispute resolution order
  • a failure to issue a certificate of conciliation within 10 business days of written notice being given to the parties of the decision to reject the referral
  • a failure to issue a certificate of conciliation within 20 business days of notice being given that the dispute was not resolved at conciliation
  • a decision to pay money out of the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund.

Time limits

If you are seeking a review of a decision to issue or amend a dispute resolution order or notice of breach of dispute resolution order, you must apply within 20 business days of you receiving the decision or from the date you received a statement of reasons (or were informed it would not be given).

If you are seeking a review of a decision to issue a notice of breach of dispute resolution order, you must apply within 20 business days of the date for the parties to make submissions specified in the notice that the dispute was not resolved at conciliation.

If you are seeking a review of a decision to pay money out of the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund, you must apply within 10 business days of you receiving written notice of the decision.

VCAT has the power to extend these time limits in some circumstances, you can apply for a time extension as part of your application.

Required documents

If you are a home owner or builder seeking a review of DBDRV's decision to issue or amend a dispute resolution order, you must provide a copy of the dispute resolution order.

If you are a home owner or builder contesting DBDRV's decision to issue a notice of breach of dispute resolution order, you must provide a copy of the notice.

If you are challenging a decision to pay money out of the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria Trust Fund, you need to provide a copy of the decision.

Apply for a review of a DBDRV decision

Complete the application form: Review of a decision about building work (coming soon).

Victoria Building Authority decisions we can review

You can apply to VCAT to have a plumbing rectification notice or a plumbing order issued by Victoria Building Authority (VBA) cancelled.

If you are seeking to have a plumbing rectification notice cancelled, you must apply within 5 business days of receiving the plumbing rectification notice and attach a copy of the notice to your application.

If you are seeking to have a plumbing order cancelled, you must apply within 15 business days of receiving the decision and attach a copy of the order to your application.

VCAT has the power to extend these time limits in some circumstances. You can apply for a time extension as part of your application.

Complete the application form: Review of a decision about building work (coming soon).

If you are seeking a review of any other decision by the Victorian Building Authority, make a Review and Regulation application.

Other decisions we can review

If you are instead seeking a review of a decision of a warranty insurer, complete an Application to Building and Property List (Domestic and Commercial Building).

What can VCAT order?

Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:

  • affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
  • vary the decision
  • set aside the original decision and substitue our own decision
  • set aside the decision and remit (send back) to the decision maker for reconsideration with our directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.

When reviewing a decision to issue or amend a dispute resolution order, VCAT can also make any decision it considers fair in relation to the domestic building contract to which the dispute relates including:

  • varying any term of the domestic building contract, including the completion date, the contract price, a provisional sum or the amounts to be paid for a prime cost item
  • declare void any unjust terms of the domestic building contract or otherwise vary the domestic building contract to avoid injustice.
  • Read the decision letter carefully to ensure you have the right to apply to VCAT for a review of the decision and to check any time limits.

  • Complete the application form and pay any required fee. You may have to pay a fee depending on the Act that applies to your case. You must specify the relevant Act in your application. Learn more about how to apply to start a case.

  • When VCAT receives your application for review we assign a reference number and send a copy of the application to the decision-maker, who will be the respondent in the case. The respondent receives a covering letter and a complete copy of the application. We will usually schedule a directions hearing to make orders for the conduct of your application. Remember the reference number and always use it when you write to us.

    When you apply for a review of a dispute resolution order or a notice of breach of dispute resolution order issued as part of a DBDRV process, you will be asked to provide details of the other party to the dispute at DBDRV. This is because their interests will be affected by VCAT's decision. In most cases they will be joined as a party to the dispute by an order of VCAT before the first listing so they can participate and make any submissions. A copy of the application will be sent to them.

    Learn more about what happens when VCAT opens a case.

  • At the final hearing the VCAT member decides the case based on the law, witness statements and the evidence witnesses give at the hearing, and documents presented, and takes into account submissions the parties make. Start your preparation in plenty of time to present the best possible case. Read more about how to prepare for your final hearing.

    For information about our accessibility services and other support services, see customer support at VCAT.

  • On any hearing day always arrive at VCAT with plenty of time so that you are not late for your hearing. When your case is called, move into the hearing room if you are not already sitting in the hearing room. Be ready to present your case. Read more about what to expect on hearing day.

  • The VCAT member may give their decision orally at the end of the hearing. If they are giving their decision in writing they normally send out the decision within six weeks of the last hearing date. If you want the reasons in writing, it is preferable to ask on the day and in any event make the request within 14 days of the hearing date. Read more about what to expect after the final hearing.

Professional representation at VCAT

You do not have to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. In many cases in the Building and Property List all parties are represented by agreement. If you are represented by a legal or other professional representative, we will only communicate with them. Read more about professional representation at VCAT.

Remember your reference number

VCAT gives you a reference number for your case. Use this number whenever you call or write to us or the other people involved in the case.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality. Learn more about applying for confidentiality.

If you need assistance at VCAT (including interpreters, hearing loop, video or telephone links or family violence support) please tell us as early as possible so we can support you. Learn more about customer support at VCAT.

Legislation that applies to this case

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998

Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995

Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012

Building Act 1993

Domestic Building Contracts Regulations 2017