There are several steps involved when applying for a building permit. Find out:
- how to appoint a building surveyor
- other requirements you may need to support your application
- how your application is assessed
- about inspections you may need to arrange
- steps you may need to take when your project is complete.
Some steps may not be relevant to your application.
If you require a building permit, you will need to appoint a building surveyor. This can either be a private building surveyor or a municipal building surveyor at Council.
Building surveyors are trained professionals who issue building permits and are responsible for checking that your documentation and work complies with the Building Regulations 2018.
You can search for a local building surveyor by:
If you'd like to appoint a surveyor at Council, you can request a request a quote for building permit services.
We also recommend consulting with an expert such as a draftsperson or architect for building design advice before engaging with a building surveyor.
Depending on your proposed work, you may need other permits or approvals before you submit your building permit application. This may include:
- planning permit
- report and consent (dispensation)
- protection works notice
- owner-builder consent or acknowledgement form.
A planning permit gives you legal permission to add a new development or change the way land is used.
Report and consent gives you Council approval to proceed with works that differ from the regulations, require special consideration or may impact community assets or infrastructure. This may include:
- siting approvals of single dwellings
- projections of buildings over the street alignment
- building on flood-prone land or over an easement
- constructing or altering a septic system
- constructing a corner fence
- demolishing all or part of a building.
If your building work is close to your neighbours' property, you may need to carry out work to protect adjoining properties. If this is the case, you will need to provide the adjoining owner with a Protection Work Notice to let them know about your plans. In most cases your neighbours must agree before a permit can be issued.
If you wish to be an owner-builder for domestic works exceeding $16,000, there may be other forms you need to submit as part of your application.
If your proposal requires a planning permit, you will need to obtain a planning permit before submitting your building permit application.
View our building checklists to find out if there are other permits or approvals you may need for your application.
A well-prepared application will help to avoid delays and the likelihood of having to update your application later in the process.
Your building permit application must include:
- completed application form
- fees based on the building permit quotation provided
- a recent copy of your Certificate of Title and Plan of Subdivision, including any restrictions such as a Section 173 Agreement. You can obtain a Certificate of Title from the Landata website
- copies of draftsperson or architectural plans, drawings and specifications
- other required documents specific to your project.
Draftsperson or architectural plans can be prepared by:
- a registered builder
- a qualified draftsperson or architect, registered with the VBA as a Practitioner DP-AD or the Australian Institute of Architects
- the owner, as long as the plans are presented in a professional standard.
If you are an owner, you will find example plans in the application guidelines. You may also need to engage a professional to prepare documents after an initial assessment.
You may need to provide additional documents in your application depending on the nature of your works.
Once you have prepared your documents, you can lodge your building permit application online or via email, mail or in person.
You will need to pay the relevant fee when submitting your application. Works exceeding $15,000 will be based on a building permit quotation.
If you have appointed a private building surveyor, your surveyor will lodge your application on your behalf.
We may contact you to request additional information to support your application. If this is the case, we will provide details on what you need to provide, along with a reassessment timeline (timelines vary depending on the type of project).
Once we have received all of the required documents, we will assess your application to ensure it meets relevant regulations such as the Building Act and Regulations.
If your application is approved, we will issue a building permit. Your permit will include:
- conditions in which works are to be carried out
- timeframe in which works are to be complete
- endorsed drawings
- information on mandatory inspections
- whether an occupancy permit is required
- if you need to carry out works to protect nearby properties.
Before you commence work, you may need additional permits such as an:
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all of the required permits and approvals before commencing work.
You may need to arrange a building inspection during and at the end of your project. Your building permit will include information on when an inspection is required. This may include:
A building inspector will visit the site to ensure all work is being carried out in accordance with the permit. After the inspection, you will receive either:
- a Direction to Fix.
If you receive a Direction to Fix, it is important to attend to the items listed within the required timeframe.
Ongoing inspections during work
Mandatory inspections may continue until the work is completed.
Before the last inspection, you may need to apply for an occupancy permit. This allows you to occupy the building after work is completed and approved. Your building permit will specify if an occupancy permit is required.
If an occupancy permit is not required, you will need to obtain a certificate of final inspection.
If work is not completed within the applicable timeframe, you will need to obtain an amended building permit by applying for an extension of time.
A building should not be used or occupied until it has been finalised by the engaged building surveyor. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure compliance with the building permit to avoid enforcement or risks of being uninsured.
After the work is complete and approved, we will issue either a:
- Certificate of Final Inspection
- Certificate of Occupancy
You may need to contact the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to let them know the final cost of your project. The VBA website has more information on what you need to do at the end of your project.
Visit the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website for more information on:
For general planning advice, call us on 1300 322 322. Our building services team is available Monday to Friday to assist you.