[Occupation Certificate]

What Is An Occupation Certificate?

An OC (Occupation Certificate) is a compliance document that the City Council issues to an applicant/owner to confirm property meets all building codes, its intended use and complies with H&S standards and it’s also fit for occupation upon completion.

The Occupational Certificate specifies the type of building – freestanding, terraced, cluster complex, townhouse complex, apartment or commercial building.  The Certificate is required before water and electricity deposits can be accepted for newly built properties.

It is against the law to sell a property without 1) a full set of approved plans / planning permission from Council, 2) Occupation Certificate.  An illegal / un-inspected building is not insured, this could lead to substantial losses in the event of fire / flood etc.  After a month’s grace to submit building plans – property owners can be fined up to R1000 a day for not complying with the Act.

In order to get an Occupation Certificate from Council you will need:

1.)    Approved Building plans from the Municipality, plus any documentation from Town Planning regarding rezoning, building line relaxation, consent etc. etc. and if necessary an approved Site Development Plan (SDP).

2.)    Completion Certificate from a registered structural / civil Engineer – this is for the Foundations, Concrete Slabs, Staircases, Wooden / Suspended floors, Steel work, Roofs, freestanding Walls over 2.1m high, swimming pools and all structures built without prior planning permission.

3.)    Certificate (Roof Truss) – your truss supplier / installer should provide you with certification, alternatively consult your engineer.

4.)   IOPSA Certificate of Compliance (Institute of Plumbing South Africa) – this is required for all plumbing / drainage / sewerage work.  It can only be issued by a registered plumber.

5.)    Glazing Certificate – your glazier will supply you with Certification.

6.)    Electrical Certificate of Compliance – this can only be issued by a registered Electrician.

7.)    Fire Certificate – this is required for all public buildings and buildings using flammable materials e.g. wood or thatch roofs.

Contact the Building Inspector

To avoid delays / additional Engineering fees etc. at the end of your building project – it is best to contact the Building Inspector prior to starting your build.  The Building Inspector will want to conduct the following inspections:-

1.)    Trench / Foundation Inspection – prior to concrete being poured.

2.)    Wall / Structure Inspections – at floor level, lintel height and roof level.

3.)    Drain Inspection – before connection to the municipal water / sewerage system and prior to infilling.

4.)    Concrete Slab inspection (if applicable) – before concrete is poured.

5.)   Roof Inspection

Your local Municipality, Builder or Architect will provide you with your Building Inspectors contact details.  It is best to call for appointments etc. before 10am whilst they are still in the office.

Once you have got your Occupation Certificate you will need to lodge copies with your bank (if the property is mortgaged) and your home / property insurance provider.  This will save a lot of time in the event of a fire / flood etc.

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