Before You Build, Get Your Building Permits

I have come across land owners who seem oblivious to the requirement of getting a building permit BEFORE the construction, modification, extension or renovation of any structure. A building permit should be acquired from your respective parish Municipal Corporation. This week, we examine the process of acquiring said permit.

It takes approximately six to eight weeks for residential buildings to be approved and the following documents are required to apply for the building permit:

  1. An architectural plan: the number of plans required depends on the type of development being constructed. It is required that all buildings be designed to Jamaica Building Code standards. Buildings greater than 300m² must be designed and stamped by registered professionals (architects/Engineers). Buildings less than 300m² can be designed by other skilled professionals (Draughtsman). However, buildings that are considered to be complex structures and or requiring complex services whether < or > 300m² should be designed by registered professionals.
  2. A Surveyor’s Identification Report
  3. Completed application form with prescribed fee: the assessment of fee is done by the Road and Works Department
  4. Up-to-date Certificate of Payment of Property Taxes
  5. Location map
  6. Proof of ownership which can be certified copy of registered title, certified copy of sales agreement, certified copy of will and certified copy of deed of gift or conveyance.
  7. If you are not the owner of the land, a letter of authorisation from the owner, stamped and signed by a justice of the peace or a notary public, should be presented

It is important to note that under Town & Country Planning Authority (TCPA), anyone who is found to be building without a permit may be issued a Stop Notice and an Enforcement Notice requesting IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF WORKS until the plan is submitted, approved and a permit is issued. In the event an individual fail to obey the notices, a fine up to One Million Dollars can be imposed and thereafter a fine of $5,000.00 per day if the development continues.

About Author:

Abi-Gaye White-Thomas B.A., LL.B (Hons)
Attorney-at-Law
Manchester, Jamaica

Tel: (876)964-4046
Whatsapp: (876)827-8050
Email: law@balcostics.com