Frequently Asked Questions.


Do I need a Building Permit?

All Building works require a Building Permit unless specifically exempted under Schedule 3 of the Building Regulations 2018. To find out if a building permit is required please refer to the VBA practice note


How do I know if I need to serve protection notices to adjoining owners?

Once we receive your completed application & documents we will assess if protection works are required.  If so a Form 6 will be completed by our office & forwarded to you.  This needs to be provided to the relevant adjoining owner along with a copy of Form 7 & 8.  A list of all the other relevant documents which need to be provided to the adjoining owner are outlined on page 4 of the VBA practice note


I can’t locate the owner of an adjoining property to serve protection works. What can I do?

Once we have been appointed as the RBS (by completion of a Form 1) we will notify council of our appointment.  If you are unable to locate the owner of an adjoining owner, we can contact council on your behalf to obtain their contact details.


When will I know the outcome of my inspection?

In most cases we will email you a copy of the inspection report the following working day.


What is the process for booking an inspection?

You can book via our website, emailing: or calling 1300 799 543 during business hours.  We require a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for inspection requests.


How much will my building permit cost?


We can provide you with a fee proposal that outlines our costs & inclusions/exclusions.  To request a fee proposal please complete the Request for Quote form and email to with a copy of your architectural plans and the estimated cost of works -inclusive of GST.


Why have I been charged for extra inspections?

If an inspection is deemed “Not Approved” you may be required to book a re-inspection.  Your building permit specifies the number of inspections we have allowed for.  Additional inspections incur a charge and will be invoiced separately. Request for site inspections or non-mandatory inspections will also incur a charge.

If your site is not ready for inspection when we attend, or last-minute inspections will also incur a charge.


How can I pay my invoice?

Our preferred method of payment is by direct deposit to our bank account.  We don’t have credit card facility.

BSB 013 366 Account Number: 294421934


How do I know what inspections are required for my project?

Mandatory inspections will be listed on your building permit.


What are mandatory inspections?

Pre-slab, Foundations and/or stump holes, Steel reinforcing in your slab or footings, Framework (timber and/or steel), Swimming pool and spa safety barriers, Final inspection upon completion of all works.


What is the Building Permit Levy?

In order to fund the Building Control and Domestic Dispute Resolution System in Victoria, the Building Act 1993 (the Act) imposes a building permit levy. The levy amount is based on the cost of the building work and must be paid by the applicant before a building permit can be issued. The building permit levy is not payable if the cost of building work is $10,000 or less. You can calculate the amount of your levy by using the levy calculator:


I’m an existing customer, and Nelson McDermott have always paid the levy for my projects then collected the money from me via their invoice.  Why has this changed? 

As of 01 July 2019 the VBA has introduced a new system called BAMS to allocate a BPN number so that the Building Surveyor can then issue your building permit for you to commence works.  The levy must be paid before the VBA will issue a BPN.  BAMS allows the RBS to nominate who will be responsible for payment of the levy. Nelson McDermott have made a business decision to nominate the applicant as being responsible for payment of the levy.  We will no longer collect & remit the levy for all permits conducted during the previous month.  The VBA will email an invoice for levy payment directly to the applicant. If the applicant wants to pass this fee on to another party (owner/builder etc) then they simply need to forward the invoice via email to the correct recipient.


What compliance certificates do I need to provide at the completion of my project?

This will vary from project to project.  Please email us with all compliance certificates you have from registered tradespeople.  If any further compliance certificates are needed, we will email you a list specific to your project. Most common compliance certificates for domestic works are: Termites, Electrical, Plumbing, Waterproofing, Glazing.


How can I obtain my copy of title/plan of subdivision?

We require a copy of your full title package -less than 90 days old. You can obtain these documents at .  The fee will vary depending on the specific address.


Why can’t I have a specific time for my inspection?

On any given day we conduct between 20 -40 inspections across all areas of Victoria. Most commonly we get asked if an inspection can be first or last up on the day.  Whilst we’ll do our best to meet your needs, we need to factor in travel times, inspector availability, the type of inspections, locality & the complexity of the project. For this reason, we can only confirm an AM or PM timeslot.  Inspections are only conducted on weekdays.


When can I start works on site? 

When your building permit is issued it will be emailed to you along with stamped plans.  A copy will also be provided to council.  You are unable to commence works without a valid building permit in place. 


When does my Building Permit expire? 

You must commence works by the date nominated on your permit – which is 1 year from the date of issue of the Building Permit. For domestic projects your works must be completed 1 year after the commence by date on your permit. For commercial projects your works must be completed 2 years after the commence by date on your permit.


What does BAMS stand for?

Building Activity Management System.  It is the new system that the VBA will use to allocate building permit numbers, report on prescribed events during construction & collect important data related to construction activity in Victoria.  More info at



VBA – Victorian Building Authority

RBS = Relevant Building Surveyor

BAMS =Building Activity Management System

BPN = Building Permit Number (allocated by VBA before your RBS can issue your building permit to start works