Everything you need to know about the building permit

The building permit is a specific document, issued by the building supervisory authority. It proves that a new construction or a rebuild does not violate public law regulations. Having in mind, that every federal province hat its own regulation about the location of construction, you should previously obtain informations from the responsible building supervisory authority.

In that respect, the building permit is the basic requirement for starting your new construction or reconstruction project. In order to get a building permit, those who are entitled to perform on construction projects, such as architects/civil engineers or supplier of prefabricated houses, have to submit the building application.

The necessary papers could be different in each federal province, so you have to look into its construction regulations. The following documents are always absolutely essential: Site plan (at a scale of 1:500), construction drawings (at a scale of 1:1000), informations about generating water supply and water disposal, specifications about statistics, heat insulation and noise protection, calculations on the built-up property area and the undeveloped part, evaluations on the total floor area/the surface area and on the living space/effective area. Furthermore, a listing of shell construction costs and of total expenses as well as a data entry form about construction activities are to hand in. Finally, you have to collect signatures from the owners of the neigbouring properties. They cannot stop the building permit. However these property owners have the option to file a suit against your construction permit, at the administrative court. That´s why it is recommended to obtain their consent.

The above mentioned documents, along with the building application, have to be submitted at the municipality. Afterwards, the corresponding body will turn the building application over to the building supervisory authority. Within ten working days, this authority has the obligation to check, if the application is complete. In case of incomplete data, the applicant will be granted a period of time in which he can hand in the concerning papers. Should the applicant not meet the deadline, the request will be rejected. At best within ten working days, you receive a confirmation about the complete proposal, including the date on wich the request will be decided.

From the date of receipt, the building permit is valid for three years. Please note, that this permission has to be shown at the building site, when there is an inspection. Otherwise the responsible supervisor will set a time limit of three days for submitting the missing building permit. At worst, he could issue an order to stop the whole building project. In the light of the above, construction work can only take place, when you hold this essential permit in your hands. Otherwise, there is the threat of fines or the building site could even be demolished completely, because a building permit cannot be granted afterwards.

Additional requirements concerning the construction project:

Two weeks before finishing the shell of buildung, the building supervisory authority is to be contacted, so that those responsible take appropriate measures for the acceptance of the construction site. Apart from this, you have to inform the building authority, two weeks before completing the whole construction. In addition, on the day of acceptance you must show a confirmation paper about the safe usability of the exhaust system, issued by the chimney sweeper. 

If your construction differs substantially from the development plan, from town charter or rather from building regulations, a request is to be made. Generally, this kind of application is very difficult  and can only be approved, as long as there is no harm to public interest.

Do you have any more questions?

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Information about the author:

Alexandra Schneider is a certified bank business administrator and she writes about up-to-date topics, for FinanzierungsExpert.