Building complaints and disputes

Report unsafe or unapproved work

This page has information about reporting building activities that you think are unsafe or do not comply with building laws.

For emergencies

To report a life-threatening emergency, contact an emergency service.

For urgent matters

To report problems such as a building at risk of collapse, call Building Advisory Services on 08 8999 8960.

For outside of business hours, contact an emergency service.

For all other matters

For all other matters submit a written report to the director of building control. The report should contain details of the property, the building or the work, and why you think it is unsafe or does not comply with the Building Act 1993 and Regulations.

Your report must do the following:

  • clearly describe the issue and the effects on safety and amenity
  • suggest a resolution, if relevant
  • provide relevant information
  • not give any information that is intentionally misleading or wrong.

You may also be asked to submit photographs or statements to assist the director’s investigation.

The director will assess your allegation to see if a resolution is within his or her powers.

The director’s response time to resolve the allegation depends on the following:

  • the assessed level of risk to the community or an individual
  • evidence of wrongdoing
  • availability of departmental resources
  • difficulty of gathering evidence in relation to the issues raised.

Confidentiality when making a report

If you report an unsafe or unlawful building activity, the director will keep your details confidential unless:

  • it’s necessary to investigate the matter
  • you give written permission to disclose your identity
  • your identity has already been disclosed:
    • to the complainant or
    • in a public document
  • it’s required:
    • under the Northern Territory Information Act 2002
    • to follow procedural fairness
  • the matter proceeds to court.

You can make an anonymous report but this may restrict the director's ability to investigate the allegation.

Possible outcomes

The director will advise you of the following possible outcomes:

  • if the matter is assessed as not within the director’s powers of investigation
  • if the matter has been investigated
  • any enforcement action initiated under the Building Act and whether compliance has been achieved.

How to report

Contact the director of building control by email, phone, mail or in person.

By mail, email or phone

GPO Box 1680
Darwin NT 0801

Phone: 08 8999 8985

In person

Building Advisory Services
Level 1 Energy House
18 Cavenagh Street
Darwin NT 0800

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Last updated: 26 September 2022

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