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Building permits

A building permit must be obtained before commencing building work unless the work is exempt. This includes new dwellings and additions, commercial buildings and fitouts, and minor structures such as patios, sheds, fences, retaining walls, swimming pools and spas. The information below outlines how to obtain a building permit for new building work. For application forms and information sheets, or to find out what types of work are exempt, refer to the Related Links below.

Making an application

An application for building permit can be certified or uncertified. A certified application (form BA1) can be made for any type of building and must include a certificate of design compliance (form BA3) from a registered building surveying contractor. An uncertified application (form BA2) can only be made for Class 1a or Class 10 buildings and requires the City to issue the BA3 with the building permit. The BA3 confirms that the proposal complies with the applicable building standards and must reference plans, specifications and technical documents that confirm compliance. The City’s Building Services branch provides a certification service for those buildings that require a BA1 application (see Related Links).

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, including an application for verge permit, if required. Incomplete applications risk refusal and will not be accepted. Large applications, such as commercial developments, may be provided on USB or CD-ROM if compliant with the City’s specifications. Refer to the Related Links below for application forms, fees, checklists and document specifications.

NOTE: All other required approvals should be in place and complied with when making an application for building permit. This includes development approval, health approval (i.e. installation of septic apparatus) and owner-builder approval.

Determining an application

The City must determine a certified application within 10 business days and an uncertified application within 25 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, property owner/s and building contractor will be advised of the application outcome in writing.

A building permit may be issued subject to conditions and inspections. The conditions must be read and understood before starting work and all inspection must be conducted as directed. Evidence of all completed inspections must be provided with the notice of completion after work is completed.

Builder’s registration and owner-builder approval

If the estimated value of work exceeds $20,000 a registered building contractor may be required to manage the work. Alternatively, an owner may obtain owner-builder approval from the Building Commission to manage the work themselves. For more information about builder’s registration and owner-building approval, refer to the Related Links below.

Notice of completion (form BA7)

The permit holder must provide a notice of completion (form BA7) to the permit authority within 7 days of completing the permit work. The notice must be on the approved form available via the Related Links below. A person that fails to provide a notice within the required time will be liable for penalties.

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