Why check this Register?
This Register provides licence records from current and historical databases about builder and tradespersons licences. It is important to check the builder or tradesperson engaged has a current licence to ensure:
- they have the appropriate qualifications for the work you want done; and
- you have access to the consumer protections provided under the Home Building Act 1989 in the event of problems.
What does the Register tell me?
The Register will tell you about current, expired and cancelled licences under the name or licence number being searched. A licence may be issued to an individual, a partnership or a company. A licence search will provide you with the following information:
- if an individual holder, their name, year of birth and business address;
- if the holder is a partnership, the names of the members of the partnership;
- if the holder is a corporation, the names of the directors of the corporation.
The Register will also show the category of work that they are licensed to undertake, whether Fair Trading has issued public warnings about the licensee, whether Fair Trading has finalised any disciplinary action against the licensee, whether Home Building Compensation Fund or other statutory insurance claims have been paid in respect of the contractor’s work, and whether the licence has been suspended or cancelled.
This Register does not provide details as to whether there have been any consumer complaints or if a licensee if currently under investigation. You can check the Complaints Register if you would like to check if a particular licensee is listed. Information about the Complaints Register is included below under ‘What other information does Fair Trading hold about the builder or tradesperson?’.
The Register does not link all licences a person may have been involved in and Fair Trading is currently working to improve this. In the meantime, please use the Searching Tips below to help identify all licences a person may be involved in
To make best use of this Register, you should search for licence records under all names available to you including the individual’s name and the partnership or company name where relevant. Below are some examples:
- Search for the person’s name and carefully check for multiple entries. Other details such as the licence category, address, and year of birth can be used to verify possible matches.
- When you are checking a company or partnership licence, also carry out separate searches for relevant licences held by company directors, partners and nominated supervisors.
- Carefully review the ‘compliance’ section to see if any disciplinary action, outstanding Tribunal orders or other compliance information is noted.
- As licensees are licensed to undertake particular categories of work, make sure the holder is licensed for the type of work you want done. A list of all categories is available on the Fair Trading website.
- Check the start and end dates on the licence to make sure the licence is current.
What other information does Fair Trading hold about the builder or tradesperson? What other information is helpful in selecting a builder or tradesperson?
Fair Trading holds information about any compliance and disciplinary action that has been taken against a licensee. Information relating to some actions, such as education or warning letters, is not published on the Register.
Fair Trading recommends you consider the following checks:
- Check the NSW Fair Trading website for public warnings. This page lists whether Fair Trading has issued a public warning about a person that may be relevant to your decision to engage them; or
- NSW’s Complaints Register: Complaints register | Fair Trading NSW. The NSW Fair Trading complaints register lists businesses that have had 10 or more complaints against them in one calendar month. If you have any particular concerns about a licensee, you can contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 and Fair Trading can provide you with assistance.
- Home Building Compensation (HBC) Check. HBC Check, provided by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), allows users to check if there is valid HBC cover a property. HBC cover is required for residential building work over $20,000. Using this tool you can search by HBC certificate number or address to verify if a HBC certificate was issued for a particular property. You can also search for certificates issued by a particular builder, to identify or verify work the builder has done.
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The ASIC websites allows users to search for Australian company details, documents lodged, and person banned or disqualified from operating a company.
- NSW Caselaw. The NSW Caselaw website allows users to search for published decisions of NSW courts and Tribunals. Please note that many decisions and orders are not published. Not all decisions are written and orders of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal are not published if they are agreed.
- Austlii. The Austlii website allows users to search for published decisions of NSW and interstate courts and tribunals. Please note that many decisions and orders are not published. Not all decisions are written and orders of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal are not published if they are agreed.
- Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA). The Bankruptcy Register Search on the AFSA website allows users to access personal insolvency information about individuals.
- Conduct web searches on the builder or tradesperson. This can help you find information such as reviews to assist you in making a decision about whether or not to engage that person. Making sure your builder or tradesperson holds a current licence in the category of work you need done is one step in selecting a builder. You can also ask for customer testimonials and details of previous work done
For more information or assistance, please contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.