Occupancy permits and certificates of final inspection

The building surveyor who issues the building permit carries out building inspections and issues an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection (as applicable) on completion of your building work.

Occupancy permits following building work

You need an occupancy permit before a building can be occupied if the building permit states that one is required.

Building work for a new home (including units or apartments) will always require an occupancy permit to be issued. It is an offence to occupy a new home that does not have an occupancy permit.

Occupancy permits also play an important role in establishing the start date for builders’ warrantees and, often, when the builder gets final payment. They are only issued when the building work is complete.

Under the Building Act a separate fee is required for an application for an occupancy permit, although this is often included in the building permit quote.

Application for Occupancy Permit(DOC, 2MB)

Occupancy permits for places of public entertainment

A second form of occupancy permit exists for places of public entertainment – theatres, nightclubs, halls, sportsgrounds and certain large temporary structures (refer to the more detailed definitions  in the Act and Regulations). These replace old approvals issued by the former State Health Department.

Such occupancy permits are required prior to conducting entertainment in a place of public entertainment, regardless of whether building work has been carried out.

If the building work has already been carried out you can apply for these permits to the relevant building surveyor. Otherwise you must apply to the Municipal Building Surveyor, except for large temporary structures, for which you must apply to the Victorian Building Authority.

Application for Occupancy Permit – Place of Public Entertainment(DOC, 2MB)

Checking if an existing occupancy permit has been issued

Occupancy permits contain useful information, including:

  • The maximum number of persons that may occupy the building
  • Performance requirements of essential services (primarily fire and other life-safety services in commercial buildings)

You can apply for a copy of an existing occupancy permit by contacting our Amenity and Compliance unit. A small fee applies.

Amending an existing occupancy permit (e.g. change of use)

You can apply to have an occupancy permit amended if the conditions of the building have changed from when the permit was first issued.

Generally only the Municipal Building Surveyor may amend or cancel an existing occupancy permit, even one issued by a private building surveyor. Contact the our Municipal Building Surveyor unit for details.

Certificate of final inspection

The building permit states whether an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection is required. If an occupancy permit is not required, a certificate of final inspection is issued by the relevant building surveyor after approval of the final inspection stage.

The purpose of the certificate of final inspection is to identify a start date for the liability period for building faults.