Legal Requirements for Shipping Container Homes in Australia

Nowadays, a lot of shipping containers are used as homes in many parts of Australia. This is because these boxes can be eco-friendly, cheap, and easy to maintain.

If you are one of the people who want to live in a uniquely designed shipping container home, then you might wonder if there are requirements that you need to get before you can start building your home.

Infographic by Tiger Containers

Legal Requirements for Home Shipping Containers

A permit is needed when you intend to store or use shipping containers in your property. The license is required regardless if you are going to use the home as temporary storage or a building in private land.

The service type that you want to obtain should be a license. The license will show the registration and certification that you need in order to start building your home. The requirements can vary with every state in Australia. The duration can vary depending on your residence. The fees may also vary.

A shipping container that will stay on your property for more than 30 days will require a permit. The council in your area will also require a development permit depending on your location and the container’s size. You can inquire with a private certifier to determine if your container requires a permit.

Note that there are classes of habitable structures that are defined for each container. Containers can be classed as storage, a shed, a home, and the like. They can also act as dwelling house extensions, a flat, or a garden patio.

Considerations for a Building Approval

Your building certifier or your local council might consider the following before they will give you a building approval.

Strength – The container should have a structural strength that can withstand the elements if you are going to use it as a home. There are assessments that might happen such as the ones done by a registered Professional Engineer which will enable you to receive a certificate.

Stability – The stability is defined as the ability of the container to remain anchored in your property for a long period of time. You might need to pour a solid concrete foundation in order to have your container stuck in place.

House Provisions – A shipping container that was converted into homes should have enough air, water, and sunlight that will suitable for human habitation. There should be guttering, roofed structures, stormwater collections, and the like before the council will approve this.

Failure to receive certifications might result in sanctions if you are caught. This can depend on each state. Before building a home, you need to check first with your local county if they approve the use of the containers. There are some who will not allow these containers because some of them have received extensive damage in the past. To obtain a full permit, your local council are the only ones who can give you application forms and full information about how you can get a full permit for your container.