What is a building permit?
A building permit is a document issued by a building surveyor that allows building work to occur.
- details of the building work
- persons involved in the building work
- any conditions on the building work; and
- endorsed plans/specifications that detail how the building work will be carried out
A building surveyor can only issue a building permit once they are satisfied that sufficient details and documentation have been submitted by the applicant.
The documentation needs to demonstrate that the building work, when carried out, will comply with the Building Act 1993, Building Regulations and Building Code.
Who needs a building permit?
It is the responsibility of the property owner where the building work is proposed to obtain the building permits. However anybody doing building work at that property is also responsible to ensure that a permit is in place before carrying out any building work.
When is a building permit required?
A building permit is required for most building work including new buildings, extensions, alterations, demolition and also includes minor structures such as verandahs, roofed pergolas, carports, garages, sheds, restumping, swimming pools, spas and some fences.
The building permit requirements are not dependent on cost or size of building work and very few exemptions are allowed by the building regulations. Some more information on when a building permit is required can be found in the document when is a building permit required published by the Victorian Building Authority.
If you have any questions about your building permit obligations or your building project please contact a member of Latrobe City’s Building Services team by telephone 1300 367 700 for specific advice.
How do I get a building permit?
To get a building permit you will need to submit a building permit application to your chosen building surveyor. Some local building surveyors can be found on the list of Professional Consultants. Your building surveyor will issue the building permit, lodge copies with council, carry out inspections and issue certificates/occupancy permit on completion of work.
Your building permit application will need to be accompanied by sufficient design documents and information to demonstrate to your building surveyor that the building work will comply with the Building Act, Regulations and Code. To ensure that your design is adequately prepared to be submitted as part of a building permit application process, you may need to engage other professional consultants such as a draftspersons, architects and engineers.
This supporting documentation need to include items such as a copy of title, builders warranty particulars, site plan, floor plan, elevations, sections, engineering computations/reports, soil investigation reports, project specifications, energy efficiency reports and the like depending on the size and complexity of your project.
What happens if I don’t get a building permit?
Latrobe City actively investigates and pursues enforcement and legal action against owners and persons responsible for illegal building work within its municipal district. The Victorian Building Authority in some instances may also investigate and prosecute Building Act offences.
Commencing building work without a building permit is a serious offence and can result in severe penalties. Under the Building Act penalties of up to $70,000 for individuals and $350,000 for corporations can apply for single offences.
Unapproved building works can also have ramifications on your property insurance and cause issues when the time comes to sell your property.
Will my building project need other approvals?
If you plan on undertaking and organising some or all of the building work yourself you may also need a certificate of consent to be an owner builder from the Victorian Building Authority.
Your project may also require a planning permit and/or other council or agencies approvals (such as an Asset Protection permit and bond, water affecting permits) and it is strongly advised that you make relevant enquires and/or seek expert advice from a building consultant.
Where can I find more information?
Call Building Services on 1300 367 700 or visit the related links below.