- Occupancy Permit ("OP")
An Occupancy Permit is declaration (form) issued by the relevant building surveyor ("RBS") that a building or part of a building is safe for occupation. An occupancy permit will contain specific conditions of occupation such as the requirement for the maintenance of essential safety measures within the building, structure or place of public entertainment. Occupation of a building or part of a building without an occupancy permit is illegal.
One of the main objectives of the Building Act (Vic) 1993 (the Act) is “to protect the safety and health of people who use those buildings and to enhance the amenity of buildings”. The relevant building surveyor (RBS) issuing an occupancy permit, has a duty of care to ensure that buildings are safe and habitable and that no harm to people or damage to property results from their actions.
BUILDING ACT (VIC) 1993 - SECT 46
Effect of occupancy permit
- An occupancy permit under this Division is evidence that the building or part of a building to which it applies is suitable for occupation.
- An occupancy permit under this Division is not evidence that the building or part of a building to which it applies complies with this Act or the building regulations.
A building permit will state whether the building work that has been undertaken will require an occupancy permit or a certificate of final inspection on completion of the building work.
In issuing an occupancy permit for a Class 1b, and Class 2 to 9 buildings, regulation 194 of the Building Regulations (Vic) 2018 requires the RBS to include conditions on the permit which;
- lists all the essential safety measures pertaining to that building or place of public entertainment; and
- specifies for each essential safety measure listed, the level of performance determined by the relevant building surveyor to enable the essential safety measure to fulfil its purpose, and
- the frequency and type of inspection, testing and maintenance period required for each essential safety measure determined by the RBS. Including the Building Regulations that
reference each essential safety measure.
BUILDING REGULATIONS 2018 - REG 194
Occupancy permit must specify essential safety measures and related requirements
- The relevant building surveyor or the Authority (as the case requires) must ensure that an occupancy permit (including that permit as amended from time to time) issued in relation to a building or place of public entertainment specifies—
all essential safety measures required to be provided for the building or place as part of the building work carried out under the building permit requiring the occupancy permit; and
the level of performance, determined by the relevant building surveyor or the Authority (as the case requires), that each essential safety measure must achieve to fulfil its purpose; and
the frequency and type of inspection, testing and maintenance required for each essential safety measure determined by the relevant building surveyor or the Authority (as the case requires).
In determining matters in subregulation (1)(b) and (c), the relevant building surveyor or the Authority must specify the provision of the building regulations with which the installation and operation of the essential safety measure must comply and which sets out the frequency and type of inspection, testing and maintenance required for the essential safety measure.
In this regulation—
- a Class 1b, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building; and
a Class 4 part of a building;
This regulation does not apply in relation to a smoke alarm installed in a sole-occupancy unit in a Class 1b or 2 building or a Class 4 part of a building.