What is an Occupation Certificate?

An occupation certificate, issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 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 use in terms of the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and relevant Development Consent.

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 alternations/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 of a new use of part of an existing building resulting from a change of use of the building.

If an interim certificate is issued, a final occupation certificate is still required when all building work or the change of use is complete. A final occupation certificate revokes any occupation certificates issued earlier.

Are occupation certificates required for all buildings and building work?

An occupation certificate is required for any new building work, or change of use of a building, that has development consent (DA) or a complying development certificate.

Occupation certificates are not required for buildings which are exempt development.

Who can issue an occupation certificate?

An occupation certificate is issued by the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) for the development, which may be Council or another accredited certifier.

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