NSW – HENDRY building certifiers advise that the legal occupation of the whole building is given by the Final Occupation Certificate, while the occupation of a part of a building can be given by an Interim Occupation Certificate. Whichever is the case, it is important to be reminded and understand that there are restrictions on the issue of the interim occupation certificate under the EPAA and EPAR.

Section 109H of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPAA) defines an interim Occupation Certificate and a Final Occupation Certificate. The Act also goes on to say that the issue of an interim Occupation Certificate must not occur unless any preconditions to the issue of the certificate that are specified in a development consent or complying development consent have been met.

As with the Final Occupation Certificate, for an Interim Occupation Certificate, the Principal Controlling Authority (PCA) must ensure that the requirements of the EPAA are satisfied. Therefore, the issue of an Interim Occupation Certificate may be issued by the PCA if he/she is satisfied that:

  • The health and safety of the occupants of the building have been taken into consideration;
  • A development consent or complying development certificate is in force for the building;
  • A construction certificate has been issued (unless the building is the subject of a complying development certificate);
  • The partially completed building is suitable for occupation or use in accordance with its Building Code of Australia (BCA) classification;
  • Any applicable requirements of the regulations ie. the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 have been met (for example, the issue of a fire safety certificate is required for most classes of building);
  • Any preconditions to the issue of the certificate specified in the consent (or complying development certificate) have been met, and All required inspections (including each applicable mandatory critical stage inspection) have been carried out.