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Ask RiotACT: Certificates of occupancy

By Dynamicdumpling - 16 December 2015 6

Ask RiotACT

Hi everyone! I was hoping someone could give me some advice.

We’re looking to buy a house and have discovered in the contract a DA approval for a brand new kitchen that was built a few years ago. This kitchen has no Certificate of Occupancy. We like the house and weve been told inspections and paperwork has been submitted to ACTPLA but nothing has been lodged yet from what we can see.

Any advice on what not having a COU means and maybe if we should give this house a miss?

Thanks in advance!

What’s Your opinion?


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6 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Certificates of occupancy
vos 11:21 pm 20 Dec 15

oh what a headache to come! the house is on the market for sale and the papers are not finalised? yep, steer clear, who knows what other surprises are hiding under the rug…

bronal 9:45 am 17 Dec 15

Did the building inspection pick up anything unusual or dodgy in the kitchen? Perhaps it might be an idea to have a word with whoever did the inspection as well. What does your solicitor (if you’re using one) have to say?

taninaus 6:45 am 17 Dec 15

Planning don’t sit on COU’s unless there are concerns so it is strange that it wasn’t issued if the paperwork has been submitted. there must have been some reason to submit a DA as I think kitchen reno’s don’t normally need one. if you are serious about the house then contact the Dickson office for Planning and ask about it – it might have been an oversight or the owner has lost the paperwork (or there is an issue with the contractor) – not sure what they will give you as you are not the owner but you can find out and get approvals if you need them to look further.

shellcase 10:18 pm 16 Dec 15

Kitchen refurbishment is generally joinery, not structural and is not considered as “Building work” thus in most cases inspection and CofO is not required.

However if the work entailed say, replacement of an electric cooktop with a gas cooktop a Gas Inspection is required, ditto if a glass splashback was installed to replace ceramic tiles because fibre cement wall lining is required to be installed behind a glass splashback, fc is heat and fire resistant, plasterboard isn’t.

Go to BEPCON at Darling Street, Mitchell and ask to see the building file for your house. If the kitchen work was subject of an approved plan there will be a building permit issued to a licensed builder. Call the builder and ask if any structural, electrical, plumbing or gas work substantially different to the original was performed.

You can ask BEPCON to perform the Final Inspection and issue the CofO if it is relevant to the new kitchen.

dungfungus 5:59 pm 16 Dec 15

I don’t think a DA is needed for a residential kitchen unless it has been extended beyond the line of the original house plan.
I could be wrong – all the Riot Act experts must be on annual leave. Someone must surely know the answer to this.

bronal 3:40 pm 16 Dec 15

What work was done? Have you contacted ACTPLA to find out if one is necessary? I may be out of touch, but I didn’t think that a COA was needed for kitchen renovations unless there were MAJOR changes to the electrical and plumbing systems.

For example, new cupboards and a dishwasher requiring minor plumbing and electrical work wouldn’t need a COA would it?

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