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Frequently asked questions - high rise 

Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund (formerly known as Home Warranty Insurance)

Set out below are some frequently asked questions about insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund that applies to multi-storey residential building work. 

1. Will residential building work involving repairs and maintenance to multi-storey buildings undertaken on or after 31 December 2003 be exempt from insurance under the Fund?

No. The exemption applies only to the construction of multi-storey buildings and not to other works at those buildings.

2. Will residential building work undertaken on or after 31 December 2003 and involving renovations to or within multi-storey buildings, such as kitchens and bathrooms be exempt from insurance under the Fund?

No. The exemption applies only to the construction of multi-storey buildings and not to other works at those buildings.

3. If a builder has entered into a contract to construct a multi-storey building and the contract is terminated, will the exemption apply to a second subsequent contract entered into by a different builder after 31 December 2003 to complete the construction?

Yes. The exemption will apply if the new builder does the work on or after 31 December 2003.

4. If a contract to construct a multi-storey building has been entered into before 31 December 2003 and residential building work has commenced before 31 December 2003, will the work undertaken on or after 31 December 2003 be exempt from the requirements of insurance under the Fund?

No. The exemption does not apply to residential building work relating to the construction of a multi-storey building that has commenced before 31 December 2003.

5. What impact will the exemption have on council development approvals?

If residential building work has commenced prior to 31 December 2003 and the conditions of development consent include the requirement for insurance under the Fund, that condition will still apply after the exemption takes effect. However, if residential building work has not commenced prior to 31 December 2003, the condition that insurance under the Fund be in place will not apply.

6. Does an underground basement in a building meet the definition of a ‘storey’?

No.

7. Does a basement situated partially above and partially below finished ground level meet the definition of a ‘storey’?

Only in certain situations. Reference should be made to Clause C1.2 of the Building Code of Australia (volume 1) which sets out the method for calculating a ‘rise in storeys’ in such situations.

8. Is a space in a building situated at the top of the building which contains only heating, ventilating, lift equipment, water tanks, or similar service units or equipment a ‘storey’?

No.

9. If a development comprises both multi-storey and low-rise residential buildings (townhouses/villas), are all the buildings exempt from insurance requirements under the Fund?

No. The multi-storey buildings are exempt from insurance requirements, but the villas/townhouses are required to have a certificate of insurance under the Fund.