Roles and responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of the key players during the building approval and building process are outlined as follows.


An applicant is the person making the application. This can be the owner, the designer, the builder or anyone else engaged to obtain the permit for the project. The applicant is responsible for the:

  • Lodgement of permit application with all required supporting documents
  • Providing further information to the City within the specified time if requested
  • Obtaining all required approvals prior to lodgement of building permit applications.


An owner is the person(s) or entity whose name is registered as a proprietor of the land i.e. the name(s) recorded on the Certificate of Title which is issued by Landgate. The owner(s) are responsible for:

  • Appointing a new builder in the event the previous builder ceases work prior to completion of building work.
  • For Class 2 to Class 9 buildings:
    • Ensuring the safety measures that formed part of the building permit in each part of the building are maintained (Regulation 48A)
    • Ensuring that an occupancy permit is obtained before the building is occupied and that the permit is displayed at the entrance of the building.
  • Ensuring a compliant barrier is installed and maintained (Regulation 50) for all private swimming pools or spas that have the capacity to contain water that is more than 300mm deep.
  • Ensuring that all building work, when completed complies with each applicable building standard even if an exemption applies.


A builder is the person responsible for the work being carried out under the building permit. The builder is responsible for: Ensuring home indemnity insurance is in place (if relevant) before starting any building work.

  • Ensuring home indemnity insurance is in place (if relevant) before starting any building work.
  • Ensuring the building or incidental structure is completed in accordance with the plans and specifications detailed in the certificate of design compliance and that the building complies with each applicable building standard and the provisions in the building permit.
  • Ensuring that no work affecting other land is undertaken without consent or court order
  • Arranging for any inspections and tests listed on the building permit to be carried out and recorded
  • Giving a notice of completion (form BA7) to the City within seven days of completion of the work or stage of the work for which the permit was granted
  • Giving a notice of cessation (form BA8) to the City within seven days, if the builder ceases to be responsible for the work.

Where works are required to be undertaken by a registered builder, this person is required to be registered as a building contractor under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011. Refer to “Do I need to be a registered builder” fact sheet on the Building Commission website.

Building surveyors

A Building Surveyor is a person who is a registered building surveyor, as defined in section 3 of the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011. The building surveyor is responsible for:

  •  Certifying the design of new building work to state it will meet the applicable building standards Certifying that the building has been built in accordance with the specified plans and specifications 
  • Certifying that existing buildings meet the applicable building standards for temporary or permanent changes of use or classification, or when a building is being strata titled or retrospectively approved
  • Certifying that the building in its current form is safe to occupy and use in the way proposed.

Owners or applicants may either engage a private building surveyor or seek the services of one of the City’s building surveyors.

If you wish to engage the services of the City to prepare a certificate please contact the City on 9267 9267.

Private building surveyors

A private building surveyor must be registered as a building surveying contractor under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 in order to contract with the public to carry out building surveying work as defined in the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011.

Independent building surveyor 

All certifying building surveyors must be independent - meaning that they cannot be an owner of the land, an employee of an owner, or the builder or demolition contractor or an employee of the builder or demolition contractor. This applies to both private and local government building surveyors.