Inspections and compliance

Relevant authorities are responsible for inspection and enforcement of building work once it has commenced.

Inspections ensure that all development is constructed and approved under the relevant development approvals, codes and standards. Certificates of Occupancy ensure that buildings are safe and suitable for occupation.

Why buildings are inspected

Random and scheduled building inspections are undertaken to ensure that the applicant has complied with their development approval, standards and codes, conditions of consent and relevant approved construction practices.

The types of inspections that apply to building work depends on where it is located and when it is built.

What inspection policies apply

There are two different planning and development systems operating in South Australia which determine the inspection policies that apply to a building.

Urban areas are included in "Phase Three" of the planning reform implementation. These parts of South Australia will transition to the new planning and development system in 2021.

List of Phase Three areas (PDF, 446 KB)

In urban areas, inspections of building work must be undertaken in accordance with the Development Act 1993.

Councils can determine their own inspection policies based on set criteria.

You can learn more about these Building Rules and Regulations on SA.GOV.AU

Rural areas are included in "Phase Two" of the planning reform implementation. These parts of South Australia transitioned to the new planning and development system on 31 July 2020.

List of Phase Two areas (PDF, 446 KB)

In rural areas, inspections of building work must be undertaken in accordance with the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

New inspection policies have been developed by the State Planning Commission to provide a consistent approach to compliance across the state. They are tailored to meet a range of council requirements.

Inspection policies in effect are:

Councils must undertake inspections in accordance with these policies.

Buildings should also be inspected if they:

  • appear to be unsafe
  • present a high risk to life or safety, particularly swimming pools
  • are used by many people, mainly where many people do so at once
  • involve roof framing
  • are obliged to provide access to disabled persons
  • have had a complaint made about the building.

This is a change from the previous system where councils determine their own inspection policies based on set criteria.

Outback areas are included in "Phase One" of the planning reform implementation. These areas transitioned to the new planning system on 1 July 2019.

Outback areas are parts of South Australia where there is no local council.

In outback areas, inspections of building work must be undertaken in accordance with the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

New inspection policies have been developed by the State Planning Commission to provide a consistent approach to compliance across the state. They are tailored to meet a range of council requirements.

Inspection policies in effect are:

Councils must undertake inspections in accordance with these policies.

Buildings should also be inspected if they:

  • appear to be unsafe
  • present a high risk to life or safety, particularly swimming pools
  • are used by many people, mainly where many people do so at once
  • involve roof framing
  • are obliged to provide access to disabled persons
  • have had a complaint made about the building.

This is a change from the previous system where councils determine their own inspection policies based on set criteria.

Certificates of Occupancy for new homes and additions

In South Australia a Certificate of Occupancy is required for all new homes, or additions to a home, built under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (the Act).

Please note this requirement currently applies to rural and outback areas of South Australia. This requirement will also apply to urban areas at a later date in 2021.

The purpose of a Certificate of Occupancy is to provide assurance to an owner that their new home or addition is safe and suitable for occupancy at the completion of construction.

The Certificate of Occupancy will be issued by either the council or the building certifier who approved the building plans and will be issued electronically via PlanSA.

An owner cannot occupy a new home or addition until the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued. To do so would represent a breach of the Act with a substantial penalty attached (up to $10,000).

Depending on the council, a new home or addition may be inspected prior to the issuing of the Certificate of Occupancy, but this is not a mandatory requirement.

Please note that Certificates of Occupancy have been required for all other buildings in South Australia (excluding sheds, carports, verandahs and the like) under the outgoing Development Act 1993. They will continue to be required under the PDI Act.

Documents

If you can't find a document, try searching PlanSA's resources library.