NSW Legislation does not permit an Occupation Certificate where a critical stage inspection was not booked or carried out, unless the circumstance is deemed ‘unavoidable’ and satisfactory evidence is provided demonstrating that the works are compliant.
NSW Fair Trading has advised that the acceptable circumstances to be deemed ‘unavoidable’ is a “high bar”, with reasons such as not being aware of the inspection requirements or miscommunication (or similar) generally not being a valid reason.
If an inspection is missed, the Owner is required to be formally notified, and a statutory declaration is to be completed detailing the circumstances, and satisfactory evidence of completion of works (for example, Engineering Certification and photos) is provided for review to determine if an Occupation Certificate may still be issued.
From 2018 all Certifiers are required to report data on Building Certification to the NSW Government. This includes daily reporting of inspections carried out, with the type of inspection, result and builder/owner-builders details shared. This results in a high level of transparency to NSW Government organisations across all projects and builders, including unsatisfactory and missed inspections.