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Building Permits in Knox

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about building permits. More information is also available in the Downloads and External Links at the bottom of this page.

What is a Building Permit?

A Building Permit is a legal document that signify that a Building Surveyor has approved documentation for proposed building work prior to its commencement. The Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2018 legislate that most building work is subject to the issuing of a building permit. This includes most alterations, demolitions and removals.

Undertaking building work without obtaining the necessary building permit is a serious offence and can result in severe penalties. The Building Act prescribes a penalty of $79,285.00 for any persons who carry out work without a permit.

Building permits are a system of control on construction of building work. They establish, maintain and improve standards for the construction and maintenance of buildings. Permits also enhance the amenity of buildings and protect people using them.

Do I require a Building Permit or not?

Generally, you need a Building Permit for all construction and demolition works.

However, in some cases you may not require a building permit. Please refer to Council's detailed listing document below on whether you require a Building Permit or not?

Before commencing any building works, alterations, additions or demolition works, contact Building Services at Council or a Private Building Surveyor to advise if you require a Building Permit.

In some cases a Planning Permit may also be required depending on the zoning & overlays affecting the property. This should be checked by contacting Council by telephone or applying for a Building and Planning Information request to receive it in writing. Please refer to Building and Planning Information Request

Where do I get a Building Permit from?

You can either obtain a Building Permit from Council or from a Private Building Surveyor who is registered with the Building Commission.

How do I obtain a Building Permit?

It is necessary to have Building Plans and documentation ready prior to applying for a Building Permit.

If a Planning Permit is required for the proposed works, a Building Permit cannot be issued until such time as a Planning Permit has been approved and issued.

To obtain a Building Permit through Council, please refer to Building Permits (Applying through Council)

To obtain a Building Permit through a Private Building Surveyor, you can contact them directly through the Yellow Pages searching under Building Surveyors.

How long does a Building Permit last?

Domestic Works


A Building Permit is valid for a maximum of 2 years. However, it will expire if you do not carry out an inspection within the first 12 months from the Building Permit approval date.

Swimming Pools and Spas


A Building Permit is valid for a maximum of 18 months. However, it will expire if you do not carry out an inspection within the first 12 months from the Building Permit approval date and must be completed 6 months thereafter.

Commercial Works


A Building Permit is valid for a maximum of 3 years. However, it will expire if you do not carry out an inspection within the first 12 months from the Building Permit approval date.

Extension of Time


In exceptional circumstances, an extension of time may be applied for in writing to the Relevant Building Surveyor who issued the Building Permit prior to the expiry date. An extension of time may be applied for a period of up to 12 months to extend the completion time of the Building Permit.

Need Help?

If you have questions, you can contact us on 9298 8125 or alternatively, you can lodge a request below and a staff member will get back to you.

Contact Building Services

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