The Easy Six Step Process to Achieving a Construction or Occupation Certificate
Prior to undertaking building or development work, council approval is to be obtained. This is achieved by applying for a development consent or an complying development application. Development consent is obtained once council is satisfied that the proposal satisfies council policies and it does not infringe significantly on the amenity of the immediate area. The DA can not be issued by a Private Certifier, contact your local Council for further information.
It is against the law to start construction without a valid Construction Certificate. If any private certifier finds construction has proceeded without the necessary documents, or inspections have not been arranged for each mandatory critical stage of the development, the applicant will be referred to their local council to apply for a building certificate. The Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) is bound by law to issue the applicant with ‘An Notice of Intention to Issue an Order”. This advises the applicant to remedy the works completed outside of their consent or to obtain approval from council for the deviation of works from consent. Usually this notice allows the applicant 21 days to fulfil the requirements.
If the PCA is not satisfied the applicant has remedied the situation within the nominated time frame, then the PCA does not have any choice other than to advise the local council to issue an Order. In most cases the applicant will be fined. If any PCA does not regulate the construction of a project adequately, then they are at risk of being fined by their Accreditation Body, losing their accreditation (and in most cases if they can not operate, then they can not continue their business) and in the worst case scenario they can be gaoled. Therefore, if the applicant does not follow the recommended order of inspections or ‘jumps ahead’ with inspections, they will be unlikely to find any certifier in NSW who will take the situation lightly.