What is a “Building Permit” and when do I need one?


  1. A building permit is a requirement of the V.B.A. (Victorian Building Authority) and must be obtained for any structural building work regardless of the cost of the works.  Several minor types of non-structural building works including maintenance and repair works are exempt from obtaining a building permit.  (Please check the V.B.A. website for a full list of exemptions).
  2. A building permit can be obtained from any registered building surveyor either through your local council or through an independent company of building surveyors.  A building permit can be obtained by a registered builder after a building contract has been signed and the “building warranty certificate” has been supplied by the builder.  Otherwise, an “owner builder” can obtain a building permit; however, several restrictions and conditions will apply, so please review the V.B.A. website if you are considering being an “owner builder”.
  3. A building permit is designed to protect the property owner and to make sure that all the plans and specifications meet the V.B.A. regulations.  Part of the building permit process is for the building surveyor to carry out all of the required site inspections and issue an “occupancy permit” or certificate of final inspection” on completion to make sure that all of the building works comply with the V.B.A. regulations.

For an understanding of when you need a Town Planning Permit, refer to this FAQ.


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