What is an Occupation Certificate?
An Occupation Certificate allows a person to occupy and use a new building, or change the use of an existing building.
An Occupation Certificate verifies that the Principal Certifying Authority (Council or a Private Certifier) is satisfied that the building is suitable to occupy or and satisfies the relevant requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
The BCA is a code that sets the standards for the design and construction of various classes of buildings to maintain and protect public health, safety and amenity.
What types of Occupation Certificate are there?
There are two types:
- 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 the commencement of a new use of part of an existing building resulting from a change of use of the building. The issuing of Interim Occupation Certificates is uncommon.
Where an Interim Occupation Certificate is issued, a Final Occupation Certificate is still required to be issued when all outstanding building work or the change of use is complete. A Final Occupation Certificate supersedes any previously issued Occupation Certificates. A Final Occupation Certificate is generally required to ensure insurance coverage.
Are Occupation Certificates required for all buildings and building work?
An Occupation Certificate is required for any new building work approved by a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate, or change of use of a building where the building classification changes under the Building Code of Australia, that has been approved by way of Development Consent, or a Complying Development Certificate.
Occupation Certificates are not required for buildings which are exempt development or development which does not require development consent.
Who can issue an Occupation Certificate?
An Occupation Certificate is issued by your Principal Certifying Authority (PCA).