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Occupying a building

An occupancy permit is required before occupying or using certain buildings. The information below outlines when an occupancy permit is required and how to obtain one. For application forms and information sheets, refer to the Related Links below.

When is an occupancy permit required?

A person must not occupy or use, or permit the occupancy or use of a building unless a relevant occupancy permit is in effect. This includes new buildings, additions and alterations, and changes to the use or classification to the whole or part of a building. An occupancy permit can also be used to obtain approval for unauthorised work to a Class 2 to 9 building.

Currently, an occupancy permit is not required for a Class 1 or Class 10 building. This includes new houses, as well as minor structures such as patios, sheds, swimming pools and spas. The building permit holder must still provide the City with a notice of completion (form BA7) within 7 days of work being completed on site.

Making an application

An application for occupancy permit (form BA9) must include a certificate of construction compliance or a certificate of building compliance from a registered building surveying contractor. The certificate required depends on the type of application being made.

A certificate of construction compliance (form BA17) is required for a newly completed building and confirms that the building substantially complies with the applicable building permit. A certificate of building compliance (form BA18) is required for any application other than a newly completed building and confirms that the building substantially complies with the applicable building standards. The required certificate must reference technical documents and inspections that confirm compliance. The City’s Building Services branch provides a certification service and may be engaged to provide the BA17 or BA18. For more information about this service, refer to the Related Links below.

Applications may be submitted by post or in person at the Civic Centre. The City also provides an online submission service for builders who will be submitting a high volume of applications. An application must include the application fees and one copy of all required documents. Incomplete applications risk refusal and will not be accepted. Refer to the Related Links below for application forms, fees and checklists.

Determining an application

The City must determine an application for occupancy permit within 10 business days. Applications are assessed for compliance with the Building Act 2011 (WA) and the applicable building standards. If an application complies a permit is issued, but if an application does not comply it may be refused. If further information is required a formal request may be made in writing (email or letter) and the information is to be provided within 21 calendar days to avoid refusal. The applicant and property owner/s will be advised of the application outcome in writing.

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