Residential building insurance

Fidelity fund certificate

This page has information for people doing building work prescribed by law in the Northern Territory (NT) who need residential building cover for defective or incomplete building works.

Residential building cover is issued in the form of a fidelity fund certificate. 

This cover is for residential building work only, not for commercial or transportable buildings or government contracts.

The cover is similar to home warranty insurance cover in other states. 

What is covered

A fidelity fund certificate covers owners against the following costs if a builder becomes bankrupt, dies, disappears or has their registration cancelled by the Building Practitioners Board:

  • costs associated with transitioning to a new builder to complete the work
  • costs of rectifying non-structural defects in the first year after completion
  • costs of rectifying structural defects for six years after completion.

Fidelity fund certificates give consumer protection rights to owners of new homes including all the following: 

  • duplexes
  • units in complexes up to three storeys in height excluding undercroft or underground parking levels
  • renovations and extensions to those buildings.

Building work that requires cover

You must apply for a fidelity fund certificate for prescribed residential building works. 

Prescribed residential building work includes all the following: 

  • building a new home
  • units in complexes up to three storeys in height excluding undercroft or underground parking levels
  • renovations and extensions to the buildings above
  • building work worth over $12,000 that increases the residential floor area of a property.
The table shows common residential building work and whether a fidelity fund certificate is required.

Type of work

Fidelity fund certificate needed

House

Yes

Duplexes and townhouses

Yes

Conversion of shed to house, or enclosure of a carport to form a habitable room

Yes

Prefabricated house

No

Flats less than three storeys excluding undercroft or underground parking levels

Yes

Flats greater than three storeys excluding undercroft or underground parking levels

No

Additions and extensions to:

  • house
  • duplex or townhouse
  • flats less than three storeys excluding undercroft or underground parking level

Yes, for works over $12,000 that increase the floor area

Garden sheds and fences

No

Bathroom renovation

No, unless completed in conjunction with other work to a building that does require a fidelity fund certificate

Bed and breakfast

Yes, unless the building is to be classified as a Class 1b building. Contact your building certifier to discuss your requirements.

Retaining wall separate from and not supporting a residential building

No

Retaining wall for a residential building structure

Yes

Requirements for builders

Registered builders must apply to the fidelity fund for an annual level of cover. 

If you a registered builder in the NT, you must show that you have the financial capability and experience for the level of cover you want. 

On behalf of their clients, builders must also get a fidelity fund certificate for every job that includes prescribed residential building work.

You must have a fidelity fund certificate before you can get a building permit for prescribed residential building work, and before you demand payment from an owner. 

Requirements for owner builders

Owner builders must have a fidelity fund certificate to cover future owners for building defects.

Cover is only available after the property is sold or transferred and if the owner builder becomes bankrupt, dies, disappears or has their registration cancelled by the Building Practitioners Board.

How to apply

Contact the Master Builders Fidelity Fund to get a fidelity fund certificate.

The Master Builders Fidelity Fund is currently the only provider in the NT and manages the fidelity fund.

Website

www.fidelityfundnt.com.au 

Phone

(08) 8922 9680

Email

info@fidelityfundnt.com.au

Post

11/396 Stuart Highway
Winnellie NT 0820

Building disputes and complaints 

If your builder has not died, disappeared, become insolvent or been deregistered, you can't make a fidelity fund claim. Contact the Commissioner for Residential Building Disputes to mediate or make decisions about rectifying or completing work on your property. 

Read more about building complaints and disputes.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017