Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a permit to build?
It depends on the type of building work you're doing.
Owners can carry out some low risk work without a permit from the Council but will need to use a licensed builder and engage a building surveyor to approve medium risk work.
You'll still need a council permit for high risk work (see Director's Determination below for details of risk categories).
Read the Fact Sheet - Consumer Guide - Low Risk Building and Plumbing Work (pdf, 166.6 KB) for an overview.
The Fact Sheet - Low Risk Work by Owner or Competent Person (PDF, 183.7 KB) provides a more comprehensive list of things to consider when undertaking work without any oversight by a Permit Authority or Building Surveyor.
The Director's Determination on Categories of Building and Demolition Work (pdf, 398.9 KB) gives more detail about the work that can be legally undertaken without a permit.
I want to build a shed
Read the Fact Sheet - Sheds and similar structures - Building Act 2016 (PDF, 183.3 KB) for an overview of what an owner can do, when you need to use a licensed builder and whether or not you need a permit.
The Director has issued a new Determination allowing an owner builder to apply for a licence to do the work of a licensed builder for Class 10a structures on the owner’s property. The process and form will be the same as an owner builder permit application and must be done through the Building Surveyor.
An ‘owner/builder’ building a class 10a is undertaking notifiable work.
Owner builders in this category who just want to build a shed will not be required to complete the owner builder course or take out insurance.
What about shipping containers?
A shipping container used for storage is building work, similar to a shed.
However, a standard shipping container is 6m x 2.352m = 14.11m2 so falls below the 36m2 threshold for low risk work prefabricated shed.
The placement of shipping containers on land may however be caught by planning requirements and if you are placing one on your property, it must be “installed” safely with appropriate management of stormwater, in much the same way that you would deal with a pre-fabricated shed.
Permit Authority Licensing
I was a Permit Authority before 1 January 2017. Do I have to apply for a licence?
- If you were already doing the job of a permit authority, you will be automatically licensed for two years. You don't need to apply.
- If you take on the role of permit authority for the first time after 1 January 2017 you will need to apply for a licence.
How much does it cost to apply for a Permit Authority Licence? Who pays?
- The application fee for a permit authority licence will be around $367 in 2017.
- You should negotiate with your employer as to who pays the fee.
Can I delegate the role to someone else while I'm on leave?
- Only a licensed permit authority can perform this role. So if you're on leave, or the job becomes vacant, the General Manager must appoint another licensed permit authority, even if this means sharing services with another council.
Payment of building fees
When do building fees get paid?
Any fees payable must be paid before work starts, including:
Once your building surveyor has issued a Certificate of Likely Compliance, and lodged a copy with the Council, you can go to the Council and pay the appropriate fees.
Your building surveyor will then be able to issue the Start Work Authorisation.
Where do I pay these fees?
The fees can be paid at the local Council for the municipality where the work is taking place.
Building approval vs planning approval
I heard that if you don't need planning approval, you don't need building approval.
Sometimes planning approval is needed, but the building work doesn't need a permit.
And sometimes you might not need a planning permit, but the building work will need approval through the council.
This may change when the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is released towards the end of 2017, and we have a better alignment between building and planning.
But right now, the Director's Determinations on Categories of Building and Demolition Work (pdf, 398.9 KB) and Categories of Plumbing Work (pdf, 298.9 KB) will tell you whether you need a permit for your project.