Permanent Occupancy Certificate

We decided that, after almost 18 months living in our ‘new’ home, we were ready to approach Blacktown Council around getting our Permanent Occupancy Certificate. They were quick to respond, and a day later we had the very same inspector that we ‘dealt’ with for our bushfire concerns out inspecting the house. You could have cut the tension with a knife.

So how did it go? To be honest, I’m not sure. He wrote a bunch of stuff down as he meandered through the house – making the occasional comment to Megan and I. Then, he asked about our bushfire protection measures.

“Are these Merbau?”
“Do you have aluminium screens?”
“Are these doors weather sealed?”

I was having flashbacks to our troubles with Council previously and, looking across the room at Megan, I could see her head about to explode. Really? We’re going there again?

Sifting through loads of paperwork, we had to find the receipts and documentation that the bushfire protection measures were completed to spec. Even the gutter guards, which can easily be seen from the front veranda, required documentation. Simply walking out on the veranda, or peering through open windows would suffice. We were even told that our dog door was a fire hazard, as it defeats the purpose of weather-stripping the door. On the side of the house. That doesn’t face the bush. No, seriously.

We were even told that our dog door was a fire hazard, as it defeats the purpose of weather-stripping the door.

A few more comments were made around how our lighting in the bathrooms wasn’t energy-efficient (I don’t have time to wait for lights to warm up in the morning when getting ready for work), and he was gone – out the door without even letting us know what ‘ the next steps’ would be.

Did we pass? Are we good? Hello?

I didn’t expect this would be an enjoyable experience, but it was a necessary evil – one of the last steps to having official sign off on the house and putting the build process behind us. We’re close, but are we done? Your guess is as good as mine.

About Stefan
Stefan is the regular writer for Megan & Stefan, and hails originally from San Diego, California. A resident of Australia since 2007, he write about his experiences living abroad, his love of photography, and documenting the process of building a house here in this sunburnt country he calls home. Feel free to drop him a line - he's always up for a chat.


  1. raj says:

    ahh…….the joys of being a home owner.

  2. Stefan says:

    Indeed. We received a letter from Council today – more info to follow. :)

  3. Kriss says:

    Hang in there. Hopefully, this all will be permanently over soon, and you can just enjoy your house freedom!

  4. Mandy says:

    Hi guys… Congrats for the beautiful home:))
    How difficult it is to get the permanent occupancy certificate ?we bought the house with interim certificate.will appreciate ur reply.

  5. Stefan says:

    Hi guys,

    I suppose it depends on where the home is built, and what hoops Council has asked you to jump through. We’ve had a number of difficulties with bushfire preventative measures, and that’s what is holding us up with Council – they’re asking the builder to provide written documentation on everything that was done.

    In terms of buying a home with only an interim, I can’t comment on it. I am under the impression that you must have a permanent occupancy certificate to sell your home – at least in the state of NSW. It may be different elsewhere, I’m not sure. Good luck!

  6. Lia says:

    Soooooo close guys!! I’m sure you’ll be fine, you’ve jumped through more hoops than a circus clown for Council!

    Any idea how long you can live with just the Interim? I was talking to one of the girls at Wisdom when we did hand-over, and she lives with her parents. They’d had their interim for 8 years. Different council, but I’m wondering if there’s any limits. Do you know?

  7. Stefan says:

    Hey Lia,

    To be honest, I think you only really need it when you sell the house. It’s just another tickbox that we’re trying to put behind us. More to come on that though…


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