A Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP) is issued by a building surveyor under the Building Act 2016.
The permit allows the use of an existing building or temporary structure for a short term activity such as a public or a private event.
A Temporary Occupancy Permit may be granted for up to three years for a structure that is going to be used in the same way, under the same conditions.
When is a temporary occupancy permit required?
- temporarily use an existing building for a use which is not the normal use permitted. An example is holding a market in a warehouse. The normal use of the warehouse is goods storage; the temporary use is a public market.
- operate an event or function using temporary structures. For example booths, tents, marquees, seating or stages.
- put up a temporary building or a temporary structure on private property. For example a temporary boat or vehicle shelter, a temporary radio mast or for a wedding or party.
- a temporary occupancy permit is in force; or
- a temporary occupancy permit is not required.
Further examples of when a temporary occupancy permit may be required
- outdoor concerts, rallies, festivals, or similar events where there are temporary stages, tiered seating or temporary shelters erected
- indoor entertainment or events in an existing building e.g. a bush dance held in a shearing shed; a food and wine festival held in a warehouse
- markets, (either indoor or outdoor), fairs, shows, carnivals and rodeos
- sporting events where there are temporary structures erected e.g. car rallies, rowing carnivals, school sports days.
Exemptions from a temporary occupancy permit
Mobile structures which do not require a temporary occupancy permit
- mobile food vans
- mobile accommodation at a caravan park, a camping ground or similar area
- portable toilets
- on a construction site, scaffolding, cranes, hoardings, or site sheds
- prefabricated buildings less than 50m² for temporary use.
Tents, booths or gazebos which do not require a temporary occupancy permit
- a tent, booth or gazebo with floor area of less than 75m² if it is the only one on the site and other criteria are met:
- used for two days or less
- does not have an ignitable fuel source or electrical wiring
- does not need off-site disposal of wastewater
- a tent, booth or gazebo with a maximum floor area of 20m² open on one side and 10m away from an ignitable fuel source ( such as a cooking facility)
- a tent for temporary use in a caravan park, camping ground or similar area.