Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) is an independent government agency that provides free services to help resolve domestic (residential) building disputes.
This service was established to resolve building disputes without the cost and time often associated with courts and tribunals.
Our services are impartial and available to building owners, builders, and in some circumstances, architects, sub-contractors, and other building practitioners such as surveyors, engineers and draftpersons.
We focus on conciliation, which involves bringing both parties together to discuss and resolve matters in dispute. We can also appoint qualified expert assessors to conduct building assessments to assist the resolution process.
If conciliation does not resolve the dispute, the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer has the power to issue binding dispute resolution orders and certificates.
We can help resolve disputes concerning:
- alterations and renovations
- associated building work such as garages, driveways, swimming pools and spas
- demolition, and
- some types of home repairs.
Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria is a business unit of the Department of Justice and Regulation and has been established under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995.
Our guide to DBDRV provides more information about our end-to-end dispute resolution process, including conciliation, our free expert technical building assessments, and the use of binding dispute resolution orders. Download the Guide to DBDRV (PDF, 237KB) or Guide to DBDRV (Word, 305KB)
About our team
Chief Dispute Resolution Officer
The Chief Dispute Resolution Officer is responsible for the overall management and administration of the dispute resolution services offered by DBDRV. This includes the initial assessment of disputes, the conduct of conciliations and issuing dispute resolution orders.
Dispute Resolution Officers
Domestic building disputes assessed as suitable for conciliation will be allocated to one of our Dispute Resolution Officers.
Our Dispute Resolution Officers are qualified and experienced conciliators. A Dispute Resolution Officer will manage your dispute from initial assessment onwards. If the dispute is accepted as suitable for conciliation, the Dispute Resolution Officer will conduct the conciliation.
We will direct in-house building experts (called 'assessors') to provide building assessment reports in connection with building work alleged to be defective or incomplete. Defective is defined in Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 to include a breach of any of the warranties in section 8, or a failure to maintain a standard or quality or building work specified in the contract.
We can also draw on a panel of independent assessors to assist where specialist expert advice is required.
All assessors must be qualified building practitioners registered under the Building Act 1993, or qualified architects registered under the Architects Act 1991. Assessors provide opinions on-site or written reports to inform conciliation but also advise the Dispute Resolution Officer in relation to non-compliance with a record of agreement or a dispute resolution order.
Assessors must report contraventions of the Building Act 1993 or the regulations made under that Act, to the Victorian Building Authority.
Assessors’ reports are admissible in evidence in VCAT or other proceedings.
Our legal team provides advice to the Chief Dispute Resolution Officer and the Deputy Chief Dispute Resolution Officer on all legal issues arising from the operation of DBDRV. In particular, the legal team provides advice in connection with dispute resolution orders, breach notices, VCAT review applications and stop work notices.