Inspections and compliance

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

Inspection of building work is undertaken to support the delivery of a built environment which provides for occupant and public safety, and assists to maintain confidence in the development industry.

Why buildings are inspected

Building inspections are undertaken to support the delivery of a built environment which provides for occupant and public safety.

The types of inspections that apply to building work largely depend on what class the building is, taking into consideration other factors which may influence the level of risk involved.

This includes swimming pools which are considered a high risk form of building work.

What inspection policies apply

Inspections of building work must be undertaken in accordance with the 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:

In simple terms, under current requirements 66% of new houses and 90% of new commercial buildings require inspection. 100% of new swimming pools must be inspected.

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.

Building notifications

Building notifications must be provided at nominated stages to ensure that the relevant authority is aware of construction commencement and is able to inspect at the appropriate time.

Building notifications must be provided by the licensed building work contractor as set out when development approval is provided.

These may be provided via the PlanSA portal, phone, email, or written notice.

Where there is no licensed building work contractor, (e.g. in the case of an ‘owner builder’ undertaking the building work), then the building owner is responsible for providing these notifications.


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