Since the introduction of the privatisation system for the issuing of building permits in Victoria the majority of building permits are now issued by private building surveyors, at this point in time we do not have the capabilities to carry out this role. However the Statutory Building Team still provides information and advice on a range of issues including emergency structural damage assessments, safety, swimming pool barriers and siting controls. For a list of companies that issue building permits we suggest looking in the Yellow Pages under Building Surveyors or Building Consultants.
The answer is most probably YES. The Building Regulations 2018 changed the previous exemptions granted to owners when obtaining a building permit in certain circumstances. These changes were generally to minor alterations and smaller structures. Visit Victorian Building Authority
The Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018 state that building work must not be commenced prior to the issue of a building permit by a building surveyor. The Act prescribes a penalty of in excess of $80,000 for any work done without a permit.
The issuing of a building permit ensures that before commencement of the works the proposed structure will comply with the Regulations. Following the issuing of a building permit, inspections are undertaken at key stages of the works. This guarantees certainty of compliance for the owner, builder and building insurers before and during construction.
Even if a proposed structure is exempt under the Building Regulations, owners may apply for a building permit as this will ensure that:
- you have an independent check to show that the new work was correctly constructed
- it is structurally sound
- it does not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers
In the event of:
- an insurance claim – you have evidence that the construction has been checked by a registered building practitioner to ensure it has been done correctly or
- a future sale – additional costs will not be incurred to provide documentation if you are required to provide evidence of compliance.
Building Permits - Do I need one?
For more information, please download the Victorian Building Authority's Practice Notes 2016-32, issued January 2016 at the Victorian Building Authority website http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/ Note: The Building Commission is now known as the Victorian Building Authority.
Is a Planning Permit Also Required?
In some situations, depending on vegetation removal and the zoning of the land and the overlays according to the Planning and Environment Act, a planning permit may also be required. For clarification on whether there are planning regulations affecting your property, contact the Statutory Planning Team on: 5950 1010.
Or you can visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning website http://www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning
An owner-builder is defined as a person who constructs or renovates a domestic building on his or her own land, who is not in the business of building. An owner-builder takes on all the risks and responsibilities of a registered building practitioner. Before you decide to do-it-yourself, get the facts on being an owner-builder.
It is important to consult your building surveyor at the outset to determine if a certificate of consent is required. Further information regarding the responsibilities and process of becoming an owner builder for a project can be obtained by contacting the Victorian Building Authority on 1300 815 127 or on their website Victorian Building Authority - Owner-Builder Information at http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/ or the Practice Note 2014-56.
An owner, or agent on behalf of the owner, may request that the relevant building surveyor (RBS) extend the commencement and/or completion dates of building work before the required timelines of a permit expires. Where a building permit lapses and building work has not commenced or is incomplete a new building permit must be issued by the RBS.
Where a building permit has lapsed and no building works remains to be completed the person in charge of carrying out building works must request the RBS to carry out a final inspection of the completed works. In the case where all mandatory inspections (other than an inspection on the completion of the building work) have been undertaken and the building work is completed prior to the lapsing of the permit, the owner can make application to the RBS for a certificate of final inspection or occupancy permit without the need to obtain a new building permit.
For further information please contact your relevant building surveyor or refer to the Victorian Building Authority's Practice Note 2014-35 at http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/