You will need an occupancy certificate if you have recently finished building works, to certify that the premises is safe to occupy. You must obtain an occupancy certificate before you occupy the building.
Occupancy certificates are issued when all the items affecting health, safety and amenities are in place and fully operational, such as water supply, safety glass and handrails.
There are three levels of occupancy certificate, with the occupancy permit being the highest level of certification:
- occupancy permit: this is the highest level and certifies you have complied with the building permit, legislated requirements and approved plans
- certificate of substantial compliance: this certificate is granted where building work complies with the relevant technical standards but minor variations to the approved plans or missing documentation / inspections has occurred
- certificate of existence: can be granted for work that was completed before 1 May 2016.