What do I need to do if my building permit lapses?

Ruler on top of building plans and paperwork labelled Building Permit

There are two circumstances under which a building permit may lapse:

  1. If the building work has not commenced by the date stipulated on your Building Permit under Regulation 53 (the commencement date)
  2. If the building work is not completed by the date stipulated on your Building Permit under regulation 54 (the completion date)

If you continue to do any building work without a current building permit you may be in breach of Section 16 of the Act. This may attract penalties of up to 500 penalty units for an individual or 2500 penalty units for a Body Corporate. A penalty unit in 2022-2023 is $184.92.

Depending on your circumstances there are a variety of ways forward:

  • The building work has not commenced and you no longer intend to do the work:
    • Contact Council, in writing, to confirm you will not be proceeding
    • If you later decide to apply for a permit to undertake the same work, you must contact ISC even if you intend to use a different surveyor
  • The building work has not commenced but you still intend to proceed with the project:
    • You must seek a new building permit from us as we issued the now lapsed permit
    • If you want to complete the work using a different surveyor you must contact the VBA to terminate the initial agreement with ISC
  • The building work has started, but is not complete:
    • You must not continue until a new building permit has been issued
    • If you do not apply for a new permit and continue with the project after your permit has lapsed we will issue an order to stop building work under section 112 of the Act
    • If ISC considers the building is dangerous in its current state we may issue a Building Notice.
  • The building work is complete:
    • If all the mandatory inspections, apart from the final inspection, have been done you can apply for a Certificate of Final Inspection or Occupancy Permit
    • If the building work is compliant, we will complete the permit
    • If the building work is non-compliant due to minor outstanding works, we may issue a Building Order Minor Work. This will allow for the minor works to be carried out without a permit. On completion of the final inspection, the order will be lifted and the relevant certificate issued.