AUST Hendry advises the absence of a statutory Certificate of Occupancy as a formal sign-off leaves the property owner, tenant or property professional exposed to the possibility of non compliant building works, an unsafe building and future fire safety audits and upgrades, as well as possible insurance implications, with the additional costs of these outcomes to be met by the owner or tenant.
Where building permits /approvals are issued in relation to building work within an existing building, generally a form of completion certificate or Certificate of Occupancy (Certificate of Classification) needs to be issued to provide evidence that the works have been carried out to provide a building suitable for occupation.
These final building control documents signify that a building surveyor is either satisfied that the building complies with the building permit, and has approved a building (or building part) as being suitable for occupation or that the works have been satisfactorily completed, and would then issue the Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Final Inspection depending on your State.
Moving into a recently built building (or part of a building under renovation) before a Certificate of Occupancy / Classification is issued, is an offence in many states. Occupants need to ensure they have the necessary Certificate of Occupancy / Classification to occupy the building, otherwise they may risk their safety and risk being prosecuted.
In addition to the responsibility of the Building Surveyor ensuring that building permits are finalised, it is in the best interests of the owner and builder that building work has been satisfactorily completed and that final sign off has resulted in the Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Classification.