An occupation certificate issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 allows a person to occupy and use a new building or change the use of an existing building. An occupation certificate must be issued by the Principal Certifying Authority on satisfactory completion of the development and verifies that the building is suitable to occupy or use in terms of the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and relevant development consent.
Types of Occupation Certificates
There are two (2) types of occupation certificates:
A final occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a new building (including alterations/extensions) or the new use of an existing building resulting from a change in its use.
An interim occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a partially completed building, or of a new use of part of an existing building resulting from a change of use of the building.
If an interim certificate is issued, 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.
Are Occupation Certificates Required for All Buildings and Building Work?
An occupation certificate is required for any new building work, or change of use of a building, that has development consent and a construction certificate or a complying development certificate. Occupation certificates are not required for buildings which are considered exempt development.
Who Can Issue an Occupation Certificate?
An occupation certificate is issued by the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) for the development. This may be Council or an accredited Private Certifier.
If Council is the PCA, the occupation certificate will be issued after a satisfactory final inspection has been carried out.