Building Certificates (s149D)
When to apply for a Building Certificate?
A Building Certificate is a document issued by Council relating to existing works to a building. A Building Certificate is usually requested by buyers or sellers of property before settlement to make sure that what is being bought or sold is not going to be the subject of action by Council.
Often a Building Certificate is requested when work is undertaken without the appropriate approvals being issued by Council or a Private Certifier. A building certificate states that Council will not take any action for a period of 7 years to Order, or take proceedings for an Order, to have the building covered by the certificate to:
- be demolished, altered, added to or rebuilt or;
- resolve any encroachment by the building onto land under the control of Council.
Building Certificate application requirements
A Building Certificate application may be requested for either a part or whole of a building and may be requested by:
- the owner of the property;
- another person, with the consent of the owner of the property;
- the purchaser of a property under a contract of sale (including the purchaser's solicitor or agent);
- a public authority that has notified the owner of its intention to apply for the certificate.
A Building Certificate application is to include an original or certified copy of a survey report and plan if it is related to residential zoned land. For land situated in other zones you may be required to provide a survey report.
The survey report and plan must represent the property and buildings as existing at the time of lodging the application. Additional information may also need to be provided (including building plans, specifications and certificates) to allow Council to assess the application.
Fees and application form
In order to apply for a Building Certificate you will be required to complete a Building certificate application form.
Building Certificate fees are set in the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000. Single dwellings have a set application fee. The fee for other building types is calculated according to the floor area of the building. Current fees that apply to an application for a Building Certificate are detailed in Council’s Operational Plan – Fees & Charges.
Additional fees apply in the following cases:
- applications involving the assessment of unauthorised structures constructed within the previous two years. Contact Council's Customer Service Centre to determine the additional costs associated with these applications; or
- where re-inspections are required to be carried out by a Council officer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the Building Certificate different from Planning Certificates?
Planning Certificates issued under both Section 149(2) and Section 149(5) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 relate to planning controls and other information relating to the land (e.g. zoning and development approvals).
Building Certificates issued under Section 149(b) and (d) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 apply to buildings situated on the land.
Can I submit an old survey report with my application?
The survey report submitted with your application has to be a current representation of all buildings and structures on the land as they exist at the time of lodgement. If there had been any building works that were carried out since preparation of the survey a new report will be required to be prepared.
Does the property need to be inspected by Council officers before a Building Certificate is issued?
Yes, details of the contact person available to organise access (e.g. managing agent) must be provided on the application form.
How long do Building Certificates take to process?
Approximately 10 days however depending on the complexity or age of the building the processing time may take longer. If access cannot be gained this may cause a delay. You must ensure access for Council officers is possible during business hours.
Are there any additional penalties for unauthorised works?
An application made for a Building Certificate does NOT eliminate the potential issue of fines that may be imposed for breaches under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 or the Local Government Act 1993.
Contact Council’s Duty Officer on (02) 4560 4444 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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