Building Permits

April 30th, 2013, 8:20 AM by Rumah Joglo

Building Permits

IMB / Building Permit Facts: IMB stands for Ijin Mendirikan Bangunan which literally means “permit to establish a building” commonly known as a “Building Permit”.

The IMB is the responsibility of the owner of the building. If you are the owner then it will be your responsibility, if you rent or lease a building it is your landlord’s responsibility. Do not buy or lease a building that does not have an IMB or you may have problems. If you lease a building that has an IMB and wish to use it for a different purpose than is stated on the IMB (say you want to use your building for keeping elephants or perhaps for night time activities involving “social networking” when it is currently registered as a private house) then the IMB must be changed. If a villa is to be rented out rather than used as a private residence you also probably need to be careful.

Balinese people often do not bother getting an IMB but take note – they can get away with it. Don’t assume that you will be able to. Once a government official smells a walking ATM with a foreign passport you will (or will not) be surprised just how quickly compliance with the law can be officially urged. This may happen even more quickly should your neighbour not like elephants or does not appreciate the more subtle aspects of “social networking”.

Obtaining an IMB is really a part of the town planning process. Permits are issued by the Dinas Tata Ruang Kota dan Pemukiman (one of those typical Indonesian government department names that slips off the tongue as easily as a mouthful of sawdust) which means the Department of Town Planning and Settlements. With the IMB certificate comes a metal plate rather like a car number plate to be mounted at the front of the building (you don’t see many of those do you?)

To get an IMB it is necessary to submit a pile of documents that will include the following:

• A land certificate including the relevant survey plan.

• An ijing Kavling (permit to subdivide) if one is needed.

• Correct land zoning for the building that is planned.

• Drawings of the buildings that comply with local building regulations.

• Structural and services drawings to make sure that the buildings have been properly designed and specified.

In fact it is hard to understand why developers or builders so often proceed without an IMB. If they comply with the regulations and obtain the permit at the start they will avoid problems and increased expense later on.

Many assume that financial lubrication will achieve anything but bear in mind three things:

1 The further the building process progresses, the larger the dose of lubricant that will be required.

2 The fact that someone (perhaps your developer) does not wish to seek an IMB before starting the building process is a sign to you, it immediately suggests a lack of integrity and further that something is probably not right – perhaps the design is not acceptable or there is not a full set of drawings..

3 Times are changing, government is being cleaned up and lubricant is becoming a dirty concept, it may be that an IMB is obtained now but, beware, if the building doesn’t comply you could well have a problem later on.

It appears that many IMB applications in Bali are “arranged” and eased through the system with a healthy dose of green folding benevolence.

Compliance with building regulations is checked in the IMB process. For example it is policy that buildings should be no higher than the palm trees. How high is a palm tree, well, for implementation purposes, it is defined as five floors or 15 metres (have you noticed how, as the years pass, palm trees seem to be growing taller and taller?). There is, of course, one famous exception to this rule – the Grand Bali Beach Hotel which was built by the government in the 1960s before the “palm tree” rule was established. Recently the Anantara Suites fell foul of this law and had to remove its 6th floor.

The design of buildings is also checked in the IMB process. It is stated government policy enshrined in legislation that buildings are to have elements of traditional Balinese design in them.

There is now a thriving real estate industry in Bali but this industry and the many highly professional people who work in it are under threat by the arrogant attitudes and shonky dealings of a few opportunists. The industry needs ethics and standards if it is to survive and prosper. The IMB is a key instrument in setting and maintaining these standards and in protecting the interests of both the Balinese people and of property buyers.


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