Get a better understanding of the different types of certificates required for building works.
An Occupation Certificate authorises that the development has been finished in line with the development consent or a complying development certificate, and is suitable for occupation or use. It also certifies that the PCA is satisfied the works comply with the required standards for the design and construction of the structure detailed within the Building Code of Australia.
A building cannot be legally occupied without an occupation certificate. To receive an occupation certificate, an inspection must be booked.
There are two types of occupation certificates:
- An interim occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a partially completed building or the new use of part of an existing building resulting from a change of use of the building. An interim occupation certificate can only be issued if the building is safe and healthy to occupy. Generally, a timeframe is imposed to finish the development.
- A final occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a new building (including alternations/additions) or the new use of an existing building resulting from a change of use.
It is rare that an interim certificate is issued, but if one has been, a final occupation certificate is still required when all building work or the change of use is complete. A final occupation certificate revokes any occupation certificates issued earlier. Other than single dwellings, dual occupancies and related development, a fire safety certificate is required with an application for an occupation certificate.
An occupation certificate can only be issued by the nominated Principal Certifying Authority (PCA).
A Section 10.7 Planning Certificate describes how a property may be used and the restrictions on development. The Planning Certificate is issued under Section 10.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
A certificate issued under Section 10.7 (2) provides information about the zoning of the property, the relevant state, regional and local planning controls, land contamination and road widening.
A certificate issued under Section 10.7 (2) & (5) provides both the information available in Section 10.7 (2) certificate and additional information such as advice from other authorities.
Every building that is not a single residential dwelling or a residential garage is required to have fire safety measures in the building. Measures may include annually tested portable fire extinguishers, exit signs, fire hydrants and hose reels.
It is the building owners responsibility to provide a copy of the annual fire safety certificate to us and to NSW Fire and Rescue. A copy of the certificate should also be prominently displayed in the building.
We promote building and occupant safety and can assist in helping building owners meet their obligations. Should you wish to improve occupant and building safety in your building, please contact our Customer Service team on 4221 6111.
What is a Fire Safety Certificate?
A Fire Safety Certificate is issued by or on behalf of the owner of a building to certify that each essential fire safety measure listed in the fire safety schedule for the building has been assessed by a properly qualified person, and was found, when it was assessed, to be capable of performing to at least the standard required by the current fire safety schedule for the building for which the certificate is issued.
A final fire safety certificate must be provided before a final occupation certificate can be issued for a building, and must also be provided if a fire safety order is made in relation to building premises.
A final fire safety certificate that relates solely to a final occupation certificate for fire link conversion need only deal with the new fire alarm communication link and not with other essential fire safety measures.
What is an Annual Fire Safety Statement?
Each year, the owner of a building to which an essential fire safety measure is applicable must submit to us an annual fire safety statement for the building. Annual fire safety statements are issued by or on behalf of the owner of the building. They declare that all fire safety measures on the premises have been maintained to the appropriate standards and that exit paths allow for the safe passage through the premises in the event of fire.
Who will inspect my building?
The owner must ensure that a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner inspects each fire safety measure. The choice of person to carry out an assessment or inspection is up to the owner. The person who carries out an assessment must inspect and verify the performance of each fire safety measure being assessed. All paperwork provided by your service provider is for the owner only and does not need to be lodged with us. It is important that records of inspections are kept by the owner.
A Building Certificate also referred to as a Section 194A Certificate, is a document we issue under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 relating to existing works to a building. This certificate is usually requested by buyers or sellers of a property before settlement to ensure that what is being bought or sold is not going to be subject to action by Council.
This certificate will prevent Council from:
- Ordering the structure to be repaired, demolished, altered, added to or rebuilt and
- From taking proceedings in relation to any infringement by the building on land vest in or under control of Council, in relation to matters existing or occurring before the date of issue of the certificate.
Pool owners must register their pools on the NSW Government's Swimming Pool Register. This applies to all pools and spas capable of holding 30cm or more of water, including those that are portable and inflatable.
Owners of properties with swimming pools must at all times:
- ensure that pools are surrounded with a child-resistant safety barrier that separates the swimming pool(s) from any residential building and any place adjoining the property
- keep closed the doors and gates that provide access to the swimming pool
- ensure that fences surrounding pools are designed, constructed, installed and maintained to comply with the relevant Australian standards.
Visit the NSW Government swimming pool safety checklist for more information.
Pools that hold 2000 litres of water also need to apply with Council for development consent. This includes portable and inflatable pools that hold this amount of water.
Swimming pool owners must obtain a Certificate Of Compliance for a swimming pool barrier before they can sell or lease their property. This certificate certifies that the swimming pool barrier complies with the relevant standard and is valid for 3 years.
Once we have received your application an officer will contact you to arrange a suitable time for us to inspect your swimming pool barrier.
Once you have received your development consent, you then need a construction certificate before starting work (this is not required if the development is approved as Complying Development). This certificate can be issued either by Council or an independent Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). A construction certificate application can be lodged at the same time as the development application if Council is your nominated PCA.
A construction certificate is an approval that:
• Ensures the detailed construction plans and specifications comply with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and any relevant Australian Standards.
• Certifies that the detailed construction plans and specifications are consistent with the development consent and comply with conditions that have been imposed.
Before any building or subdivision works commence, a PCA must be appointed and Council given at least two days notice of intention to commence building work.