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How to Finalise a Building or Plumbing Approval

It is a requirement of building and plumbing approvals that they are afforded a final inspection to ensure that the works approved meet the requirements of the relevant legislation and standards.

The information below explains how you may obtain a final inspection for a building or plumbing approval.

Building approvals

IssuerHow to finalise
Building approvals          issued by Council

Council granted building approvals until April 1998. As a consequence, Council is able to finalise building approvals that were issued between the years 1983 to 1998 but were never afforded the final inspection. As part of this service, a visual inspection will be carried out by a qualified Council building certifier to determine if the building structure is compliant with the legislation and standards as at the time of the approval.

Where plumbing and drainage works form part of the building, a qualified Council plumbing inspector will also carry out a visual inspection for plumbing and drainage works.

Upon Council being satisfied that the building meets all of the requirements of the approval, Council will:

  • For a residential (class 1 and 10 building) issue a certificate of final inspection; or
  • For a commercial (class 2 to 9 building), issue a certificate of classification.

As Council must gain access to the property in order to inspect the structures, the written authority of the current land owner will be required. Also, a person must be present during the inspection to provide access to all required parts of the building or property.

Building approvals issued by private building certifiers

Since April 1998, the responsibility for issuing building approvals has been with private building certifiers. To finalise an approval issued by a certifier, you will need to make contact with the certifier who issued the original approval. The certifier may require further inspections, documentation or fees to be able to approve the final inspection of the structure.

If an approval has not had the required inspections, the original certifier (or another certifier) may be able to give an indication of the actions potentially involved in bringing the structure into compliance with the legislation and standards and any associated costs involved in doing so. However, if the approval has lapsed, or the certifier is no longer able to be contacted, it may not be able to be finalised by the original certifier. In that case, you will need to engage a private building certifier to lodge a new development application and go through the process from the beginning.

Council is unable to recommend private building certifiers, but you can search for certifiers through the Yellow Pages. Further information about the certification process is available at the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

It is mandatory for certifiers to lodge approval documents, plans and inspection details with Council archiving. If you are unsure about the status of a building approval, you can order a Building and Plumbing Approvals Report through Council for confirmation.

Plumbing and drainage approvals

Council will also finalise plumbing approvals or works that are capable of being finalised.

As part of this service, a visual inspection will be carried out by a qualified plumbing inspector to determine if the plumbing and drainage works is compliant with the legislation and standards as at the time of the approval or construction. Upon Council being satisfied that the plumbing or drainage works meets these requirements, Council will:

  • Where a compliance permit was issued and inspections (apart from the final inspection) have been carried out, issue a compliance certificate pursuant to the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002;
  • Where there is no evidence (or only partial evidence) that staged inspections have been completed, or no approval was issued in the first place, issue a visual compliance certificate where the works conform to the relevant legislation.

The inspection is visual only (non-invasive) and will be limited to those areas of the property or building to which reasonable access is available on the date and time of the inspection.

Fees

This application will incur a fee, which is required to be paid before the service can be delivered.

Please note that paying of the fee does not guarantee the issuing of a successful certificate.

Council will make every effort, for you to have a successful final inspection, your assistance is of essence. After the engagement, the case officer will advise you accordingly.

For an inspection on plumbing and drainage works, a fee will vary depending on whether the works were carried out in respect of Residential or Commercial buildings.

These fees are set out in the application form available below.

Timeframes

For approvals issued by Council, the timeframe for finalisation of the approval will depend on the ability for the structure or works to pass a final inspection or any further actions required. However, an initial inspection will be carried out within 10 business days of the request.

How to apply

Please complete the relevant application form (PDF 134 KB) or obtain a paper copy from Council's Customer Service team.

Fact sheet

Please refer to our fact sheet (PDF 87 KB) for a printable version of the information above.