An occupancy permit is a confirmation of the local government that the completed building or a part thereof complies with the requirements prescribed for the building and the building design submitted upon application for a building permit and may be used for the intended purpose..
Necessity of an occupancy permit
An occupancy permit is especially necessary to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones!
In addition, there are some situations where the lack of an occupancy permit may lead to problems that involve significant costs.
- Fire – It is necessary to enter all buildings in the register in case of a possible fire, so that the Rescue Board already has information about the buildings located on or near the property at the time of the call.
- Insurance – Incomplete register data can cause problems in obtaining fair compensation in the event of an accident. Although the absence of an occupancy permit does not preclude the receipt of insurance indemnity, it is worth noting that in the case of damage caused by construction defects, the absence of an occupancy permit may mean loss of indemnity or compensation only for the legal part of the building.
- Sale of real estate – Lack of an occupancy permit reduces the value of real estate for sale, prolongs the sales period and in the worst case, the real estate may not be sold because potential buyers do not receive a loan secured by such real estate. Banks want to know why no occupancy permit has not been issued for the building and may refuse to finance such real estate or treat the building as unfinished and reduce the loan amount.
- Local government sanctions – In the course of construction supervision, a local government can check the existence of an occupancy permit and an occupancy notice of the building and the accuracy of the information entered therein, and in the absence of permits, issue a precept to apply for the relevant permits and use the penalty payment to ensure compliance with the precept.
Application for occupancy permit
According to the law, each building permit must end with an occupancy permit (construction notice with an occupancy notice). An application for an occupancy permit together with related documents shall be submitted to the local government after the completion of construction through the construction register. Related construction documents are in particular:
- as-built drawings (e.g., as-built drawings of foundation and technical equipment, etc.);
- a journal of building operations;
- reports on covered works;
- minutes of working meetings;
- other documents characterizing the construction, including equipment adjustment and test reports, installation, maintenance and operating instructions.
In the case of detached houses, the usual situation is where the above-mentioned documents have not been prepared. In this case, they can be replaced by a building audit.
A building audit is an assessment of a building by a competent civil engineer that replaces a building documentation or building design that is missing in the permit procedure. In the course of a building audit, the building as a whole or a part of the building is inspected in conjunction with the building as a whole. The requirements for the audit are provided by a regulation of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure.
The methods and scope of the audit are determined by the auditor based on best practice and the requirements for a specific building.
The audit of the building shall cover at least the following methods:
- a visual inspection, during which it is checked whether the building complies with the documentation prepared for the building and is in technical condition, and, if necessary, the technical data of the building are identified;
- an in-use inspection, during which it is checked whether the use of the building for the intended purpose and in the intended manner is safe;
- examination of the documentation, in the course of which it is checked whether the proper documentation prepared for the building and at least necessary for the safe use of the building and maintenance of the building is available.
As a result of the building audit, a building audit report is prepared.
How can we help you?
For you, who are probably not involved in the construction industry on a daily basis, applying for an occupancy permit is a relatively complicated process. In order for the application for an occupancy permit to run smoothly and quickly, it is wise to use the help of experienced specialists who know all the nuances and possible problem areas. We will assist you in compiling and assembling the documents required for the application for an occupancy permit, and we will communicate with the participants in the proceedings in order to ensure a smooth process. We will develop and implement an optimal action plan that takes into account your building and the existing situation.
ENTRY OF A BUILDING IN THE CONSTRUCTION REGISTER
Buildings with a size of 20m² and more and/or a height of more than 5m must be entered in the construction register. The law does not differentiate between a 40m² shed or a 5-storey apartment building.
The existence of a building in the construction register can be checked on the website https://www.ehr.ee, you can also contact the local government, where the data of the construction register can be checked.
If you discover that your buildings are not registered in the construction register, you should first check whether you suddenly own or have in the archives documents that show the legality of erecting the building and which for some reason have not been submitted to the register. In this case, you can submit them to the local government together with the notification of data submission and the problem can be solved.
However, if you know that it is an unauthorized building, i.e., a building that has been arbitrarily erected within the meaning of the law, then the permit or notification procedures should be started.
LEGALIZATION OF ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION
Illegal or arbitrary is any building for the erection of which it would have been necessary to apply for a building permit or building notice in accordance with Annex 1 to the Building Code.
If the unauthorized construction activity has taken place after the adoption of the Building Code (01.07.2015), then in order to legalize such a building, a building permit or notice must be applied for under the same conditions as it should have been done before the construction activity started.
A special rule has been established in the Building Code and An Act to Implement the Building Code and the Planning Act for the legalization of buildings constructed before the adoption of the Building Code in force today (01.07.2015). The special rules divide legalization into two categories:
- Buildings built before 01.01.2003 (before the adoption of the Building Act) must meet the requirements for the safety of the building. The safety of the building shall be assessed in accordance with the requirements in force at the time of construction;
- Buildings built after 01.01.2003 but before 01.07.2015 (before the adoption of the Building Code in force today) must meet the requirements for the safety of the building and also comply with the detailed and general plan or design conditions.
You have to take into account that the time of construction activities must also be proved to the local government.
Studies and audits are required to demonstrate the safety and legal compliance of the building.
Loen pikemalt vajalike dokumentide kohta
GEODETIC AS-BUILT SURVEY – this is a post-construction real estate plan, which includes all the buildings and facilities located on the real estate and on the basis of which, among other things, it is possible to check whether the building has been built at the design location. At the same time, the pavements, ground heights, utility networks and other objects located on the property shall be marked on the post-construction survey.
EAS-BUILT DRAWINGS OF A BUILDING – drawings reflecting the current situation of a building, which is the basis for entering the building in the register or preparing a modification design. The scope of the design includes floor plans, views, section and a table of technical indicators.
MODIFICATION DESIGN – a design necessary for the modification of a building design that has received an existing building permit, i.e., if changes have been made compared to the original design that can be approved through the modification design, a modification of the building design shall be prepared.
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION AUDIT – a document that replaces the construction documentation (a journal of building operations, reports on covered works) that is missing in the occupancy permit procedure and/or is necessary to assess the safety of the building and compliance with the applicable plans in the absence of a building design.
ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION AUDIT – an audit, as a result of which it must be confirmed that the electrical installation of the building is safe and ready for use. In the case of newer buildings, the preparation of the audit requires a design of the electrical installation and a declaration of conformity by the builder of the electrical installation.
FIRE SAFETY AUDIT – an audit to assess the compliance of a building with fire safety requirements. Similar to a general construction audit, a fire safety audit is required in the absence of construction documentation (reports of covered works, certificates, etc.).
HEATING EQUIPMENT EXAMINATION – a necessary document if the safety of heating equipment cannot be proven. In the detached house, the owner may install the heating devices himself/herself, including factory-produced solid fuel heaters and chimneys, product certificates, installation and operating instructions and, in the case of a chimney, a report of covered works/cross-section diagram to prove that the chimney has been installed in accordance with installation instructions. However, in the case of non-factory products of a detached house, in the absence of a heater passport, an examination of the heater must be ordered. In residential buildings with two or more apartments and other larger buildings, the owner can no longer install heating devices, and in the absence of documentation of heating devices (reports of covered works, oven passports, etc.), an expert examination of heating devices must be ordered.
CHIMNEY SWEEPING REPORT – if solid fuel heaters, such as ovens, fireplaces or stoves, are used in the building, have the person with the professional certificate of a chimney sweep inspect/clean the chimney and the flue. If the chimney sweep assesses the heating system as compliant, a chimney sweep report is issued. According to the current law, the system of detached houses must be inspected/cleaned every five years.
AUDIT OF A GAS INSTALLATION – in case the building is heated by gas supply from the street network, the gas installation must be inspected by an appropriately accredited company by conducting an audit of the gas installation. The audit must show that the gas installation complies with the requirements and is safe to use.
IN THE CASE OF AIR HEAT PUMP – heat pump passport, at the request of the local government also noise level measurement.
FOR FORCED VENTILATION – a protocol for measuring air volumes, which shows the security of the air volumes designed for the premises.
DRINKING WATER ANALYSIS – required when using a borehole or a dug well as the drinking water supply of the residential building. You can take the samples yourself and take them to the laboratory or order the corresponding service from the laboratory.
FOR A BOREHOLE – a borehole passport
IN THE CASE OF A WASTEWATER CONTAINER – the certificate and installation certificate of the container and, in some cases, the invoices certifying the export of the waste water removal.