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You Don’t Need Council for Your Permit

Building surveyors were once independent public officers employed by Council, rigidly applying the regulations.

Since the introduction of the privatised system, property owners or their agents have had the choice as to who issues their building permits and carries out the subsequent inspections, being either the Council's Municipal Building Surveyor or a registered private building surveyor.

In fact, some Councils (such as the City of Kingston) don’t even accept Building Applications directly anymore. Instead they are instructing owners to seek an external private Building Surveyor.

A registered private Building Surveyor is a professional trained in Understanding the building control process.

Building Surveyors are authorised to assess building plans with a view to ensuring they comply with the Building Act 1993, the Building Regulations 2006 and the National Construction Code.

Building Surveyors remain involved in the project until it is complete. They carry out the required inspections & are responsible for ensuring buildings are safe, accessible and energy efficient, and therefore have an impact on the design, planning and functionality of buildings.

Once building work is complete, the building surveyor is responsible for issuing the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

Some little-known facts…

· The Building Act prohibits builders from appointing private surveyors for domestic projects. Instead, it is the owner must appoint their own surveyor.

· You can only appoint one building surveyor to a building project.

· If you started your project before you realized you needed a permit, recent changes to the Act ensure that landowners will no longer be prosecuted for illegal building works as long as they have engaged a building practitioner (such as a building surveyor or architect) to work on the project. This provides the opportunity to be granted permission to keep the structure being built.

If you have any further questions about building permits just contact the team at Permit Plans Studio (or follow us on

for updates).

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