Building Permits

Overview

Obtaining a building permit signifies, prior to commencement, that a building surveyor has approved the proposed building work as safe to build and meeting all the required standards. 

Use the navigation structure to find information about whether you need a permit, how to lodge an application for a building permit and how long you have to complete the work once you have obtained a permit. Visit the Victorian Building Authority website for more information about building permits.

Download an Application for Building Permit(PDF, 77KB)

Download the Building Permit Application Checklist - Dwelling(PDF, 41KB)

Download the Building Permit Application Checklist - Shed(PDF, 41KB)

Download the Building Permit Application Checklist - Pool(PDF, 41KB)

Download the Building Permit Application Checklist - Demolition(PDF, 42KB)

Download the Building Permit Application Checklist - Commerical Works(PDF, 44KB)

Do I need a permit?

Obtaining a building permit signifies, prior to commencement, that a building surveyor has approved the proposed building work as safe to build and meeting all the required standards.  

With a few exceptions, the Building Act 1993 (the Act) and Building Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) legislate that all building work requires a building permit. This includes minor alterations, demolitions and repair or maintenance work. Permits are required for the construction of swimming pools and spas greater than 300mm in depth and verandahs.

Permits are required for most building works. If you are planning a building project, we can help. Call our Customer Service Centre to prearrange a free consultation with us to discuss the requirements of your project. This is especially important if you are considering a complex project, or planning to do the construction yourself.

Visit the Victorian Building Authority website for more information about building permits.

You will need a building permit to begin works on the following:

  • New home
  • Factory
  • Swimming pool
  • Extensions or renovations
  • Demolition or building removal

Note that building permits are required regardless of cost. Therefore, you may also need a building permit for smaller projects such as:

  • re-stumping
  • garage, carport or gazebo
  • verandah or pergola
  • swimming pool or spa
  • new safety barriers for a swimming pool or spa
  • decking
  • retaining wall or fencing, in some circumstances

Obtaining a building permit ensures that: 

  • Adequate documentation for your building works is prepared
  • Key stages of your building work is independently inspected
  • Your building is safe to use for the intended purpose
  • Your building work is covered by your home insurance once works are completed

Building permits are required for all building work, from small projects like decking to larger projects, including installing a new fence around your pool. Large fines apply if you build without the correct permits. You may be forced to demolish illegal buildings at your own cost. 

Note that planning permits and building permits are separate documents. Obtaining a planning permit is a separate process and is a legally required step to obtaining a building permit. Go to our Planning Permits page for more information.

How do I lodge a building permit application?

Before applying for a building permit, you need to choose a building surveyor. This can be the Council or a private building surveyor. We encourage you to obtain quotes from private certifiers as well as the Council. We benchmark our fees regularly to ensure we remain competitive with other service providers. Your builder may be able to recommend a private building surveyor. 

Here are some steps that we can guide you through: 

  1. Check whether you require a planning permit
  2. Prepare documents to be submitted as part of your application
  3. Complete a building permit application form
  4. Produce a 'Copy of Title' no more than six months old (available from landata.vic.gov.au)

 

The Process

You may need a planning permit before you obtain a building permit. Getting a planning permit does not replace or negate the requirement for a building permit. Visit our planning page for more information about planning permits. 

Once you’ve lodged your building permit application, we check for compliance with the Building Act 1993 (the Act) and Building Regulations 2006 (the Regulations). We will then issue you a building permit with or without conditions. 

In some cases, we may refuse to issue a permit. If your permit is refused, you can alter the application to comply with the Regulations or appeal to the Building Appeals Board.

 

What if my proposed work is close to an adjoining neighbour’s property?

If you intend to carry out building work close to an adjoining neighbour's property the building surveyor can, in some cases, require you to perform work to protect your neighbour's property. 

In some cases, ‘protection work’ may be required before building work can commence. Some examples of this include protecting the driveways, garden beds or lawns of your neighbours or obtaining insurance cover for the building work to protect the neighbour's property from unplanned impacts prior to commencing.

We recommend talking to your neighbours if there is a chance that your project will disrupt your neighbour's quality of life or use of their property in any way. Having a conversation about your plans now may prevent later disputes.

 

How long do I have to complete the work? 

Building permits don’t last forever. Building permits lapse under the following conditions: 

Domestic

  • Building works not started within one year of the building permit date.
  • Building works not completed within two years of the building permit date.
  • Relocated dwellings not started within six months of the building permit date.
  • Relocated dwellings not completed within 12 months of the building permit date.

Commercial/Industrial

  • Building works not started within one year of the building permit date.
  • Building works not completed within three years of the building permit date.

Swimming Pools

Works not completed (including safety barriers) within six months of the building permit date.

 

Extensions

You can apply for an extension prior to the lapse of your building permit if you need more time. Contact the Council if you need to discuss an extension.

 

My neighbours are building

What should I do if my neighbour's work impacts me? 

If your neighbour's work is impacting you, we recommend starting with an informal conversation. Your neighbour might be able to make simple changes to minimise disruption to you, such as agreeing to particular hours for loud building works. In most cases, it's not a requirement to let neighbours know when building works are approved. If you have ongoing issues with your neighbour's building works, we can help with information about both of your obligations. 

What should I do if my neighbours don't have a permit? 

In most cases, you won't know whether your neighbours have a building permit as there is usually no requirement to inform neighbours of building works. If you have concerns, please contact us. We will ask for your name and contact details to lodge a complaint. We will investigate the matter and respond to you. 

What if I have a fencing dispute with my neighbour?

The Council doesn't have the power to resolve fencing disputes unless illegal works are involved. Boundary fence disputes are considered a civil matter. For more information and for assistance to resolve disputes between neighbours, contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria.