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Occupancy certificates

You need a Certificate of Occupancy and Use before you can occupy or use your building. A Certificate of Compliance is issued when building and development covenants of a Crown lease have been complied with. A Certificate of Regularisation can be issued for the occupation of buildings constructed by the Commonwealth or ACT government that did not require building approval when they were constructed.

Certificate of Occupancy and Use

Upon satisfactory completion of the building work, your building certifier will issue a Certificate of Completion. You can then lodge with us an application for a Certificate of Occupancy and Use.

We will issue a Certificate of Occupancy and Use if the building work and any associated electrical and plumbing work have been certified as complete. It is against the law to occupy or use a building until a Certificate of Occupancy and Use is issued.

Certificate of compliance

This Certificate allows you to sell your property in the future without Authority consent because it means that you have complied with any building and development covenants of your Crown lease. Typical covenants are that construction must start within 12 months and must be completed within 24 months of the commencement of the Crown lease.

If the covenants have been complied with:

  • for single residential buildings, the Certificate is usually issued at the same time as a Certificate of Occupancy and Use;
  • for multi-unit buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, you need to apply in writing so that inspections not covered for the Certificate of Occupancy and Use can be made. These inspections could include carparking, driveways and landscaping.

Due to legislative requirements, when requesting a Certificate of compliance, you are required to complete an application form, which must contain all lessees' details and must be signed and dated by all lessees for that property.

Certificate of Regularisation

Applications for a Certificate of Regularisation may be made by the government concerned or the tenant before a building is sold or by a lessee after a lease has been issued for the land.

The application must include:

  • a completed application for Certificate of Regularisation;
  • the current use of the building (or the intended use if that is different);
  • plans of the building in its current state (they need not be the plans used to construct the building if these are not available) and specifications;
  • a statement from a building certifier (see below);
  • evidence that the Fire Brigade has been consulted; and
  • the fee.

For a certificate to be issued, you need to employ a licensed building certifier. The building certifier must be registered as a building surveyor or, for buildings over three storeys or 2000 square metres, as a principal building surveyor.

The certifier must provide a statement certifying that the building is structurally sound, can withstand the loadings likely to arise from its expected use, contains reasonable provision for the safety of persons likely to be in the building if there is a fire, including the provision of adequate facilities for leaving the building; and the prevention and suppression of fire; and the prevention of the spread of fire. We must issue the certificate if the assessment is positive, the required details have been provided and the fee paid. The certificate will state the approved use and the matters that were considered in assessing the application.



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