Building Information Certificates
A Building Information Certificate is a document issued by Council relating to the existing condition of a building. A Building Information 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.
A Building Information Certificate may also be required when building work has been undertaken without the appropriate approvals being issued either by Council or a Private Certifier. A Building Information Certificate operates (amongst other things) to effectively prevent the Council from ordering a building (the subject of the certificate) to be demolished, altered, added to or rebuilt.
Who can apply for a Building Information Certificate?
A Building Information Certificate application may be requested for either a part or whole of a building or buildings 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.
What is to be included in an application?
A Building Information 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, Council staff will advise should you be required to provide a survey report.
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.
The property must be inspected by Council officers before a Building Certificate is issued therefore the application must include details of the contact person (e.g. managing agent) in order to organise access.
Additional information may also need to be provided (including building plans, specifications and certificates) to allow Council to assess the application.
What is the fee for applying for a Building Information Certificate?
The fees that apply when obtaining a Building Information Certificate are set under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000 and are found in Council’s Fees and Charges Schedule .
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.
How is the Building Information Certificate different from Planning Certificates?
Planning Certificates issued under both Section 10.7(2) and Section 10.7(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 Information Certificates issued under Section 6.25 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 apply to existing buildings situated on the land.
Are there any additional penalties for unauthorised works?
An application made for a Building Information 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.
Once you have all your documents ready you can lodge your application with Council through:
- NSW Planning Portal – This is an online portal facilitated by the NSW Government where you can submit your application to Council online. You will first need to create an account on the Portal as an applicant. For information on how to register for, and use the planning portal, see the NSW Planning Portal Quick Reference Guides.
Customer Service will contact you to pay the associated fee before processing the application.
NSW Planning Portal Note
Once you have an account you will be able to lodge the building information certificate though the portal:
- The quick reference guide below will provide instruction on creating a Building Information Certificate and will require you to upload your application documents. Council will then review the submitted application for completeness.
- Submit Building Information Certificate Application (nsw.gov.au)
- You will then be contacted via the portal and notified of one of the following:
- Your application is not yet complete and additional information is required.
- Council has accepted your application and fees can now be paid.
Once the fees have been paid, the application is then considered to be lodged with Council.
Contact Council on (02) 4560 4444 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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