Building Commission WA

Trying to make a claim against your builder for poor workmanship, faulty material, unfinished works, contract over-run or contract misdemeanour is not easy.

The Building Commission will not entertain a claim which has not been inspected and reported on by a qualified building inspector no matter how big or small the defective works are.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. Building and Energy have guidelines which need to be observed when writing a report and it has to be in the following format.

1.Each complaint item is to be given a separate number. Even when a complaint item relates to the same building element they are to be listed as separate items.(E.g. Bedroom number 2 window lock does not work and the flyscreen is missing.These faults are to be listed and detailed as two separate complaint items.)

2.Each complaint requires a description of the state of the item as viewed at the time of the inspection.

3.List items room by room, and areas – external, internal, ground floor, level 1etc.

4.Hearsay information needs to be clearly stated in the report and details provided as to who provided the information. E.g. “the complainant advised”

5.The report is to contain a statement from the inspector regarding thecompliance of the item. If the Inspector is of the opinion that the item isassessed as faulty and unsatisfactory, then he/she shall describe what code,standard or manufacturer’s recommendation with which the complaint item is non-compliant. Where the complaint item is not covered under a code, standardor manufacturer’s recommendation, the inspector can express an opinionbased on his/her personal experience regarding the subject matter.

6.The Inspector is to provide a recommendation for repair so that the complaint item will meet the minimum requirements of the applicable code, standard or rmanufacturer’s recommendation.

7.The comments made by the Inspector in regards to each item are to bepresented in the following order:

a.Provide a description of the fault/defect.

b.Describe specifically its location.

c.Where it is evident, provide an opinion as to why the fault/defect has occurred.

d.Provide details as to what code, standard, permit, plan, specification,manufacturer’s recommendation or requirement with which the fault/defectis non-compliant with.

e.Provide a recommendation to remedy the fault/defect.

In Building and Energy's opinion the term 'suitably qualified inspector' means a person who has the qualifications, expertise and experience in the building service being reported upon. This is what would be considered a person who has aquired the minimum of a Certificate of Registration as a Registered Building Practitioner.

Where an inspector is unable to provide a recommendation for remedy due to lack of evidence, they should consider a recommendation for further investigation and specify the area of expertise required.



  • Where photographs are included in a report they need to be accompanied with appropriate detail clarifying their nature, location and date taken, with areas of non-compliance highlighted.
  • A report that contains only photographs with little description of the complaintitem will likely be considered unsuitable for assessment.



Building and Energy has noted that where items of complaint are clearly identified for both parties and a clear reason as to why a short, concise report is appropriate, it must address each item of complaint and provide sufficient detail to facilitate a fair and reasonable assessment.

The building Commission will ask for such documents as:

  • The notice of proposed complaint.
  • Proof of service of the Notice of Proposed Complaint.
  • Contracts and invoices.
  • Building permits.
  • Correspondence or documentation relevent to your complaint.

We at ABEL Building Inspections have the expertise to guide you through this difficult process and insure that your complaint is not dissmissed due to lack of evidence.

When engaging a building inspector make sure you use due diligance before making your choice. The minimum documentation your chosen Building Inspector should be able to offer you are.

  • Certificate of Registration as a Registered Building Practitioner.
  • Insurance Policies.
  • Member of Inspect WA.
  • Whitecard.
  • Police clearance.
  • A sample report in the same format as the requirements issued by the Building Commission.

Image by Government of Western Australia

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