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 registered 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.
Council may require certain works to be carried out prior to the issue of the certificate or may refuse to issue a building information certificate.
The Building Information Certificate does not certify that the building complies with the relevant legal requirements, nor is it a status report in respect of the defects or contraventions which may exist in the building. Should this information be required, you are advised to seek the opinion and services of a building inspection organisation.
A Building Information Certificate is not a mandatory requirement when buying or selling a property but it can assist to protect the purchaser and lending institution. The inspection may reveal such things as any illegal building works, unauthorised use, structural defects and fire safety issues.
The certificate is only valid in regard to anything that existed at the time of the inspection and is valid for 7 years.
Making an Application
- Get independent advice and/or consult with a Council Planner/Building Surveyor to confirm your application requirements, supporting documents and fees specific to your circumstance.
- Get your supporting documents ready - Refer to Supporting Document Guide below.
- Apply via the NSW Planning Portal
- Application is checked for completeness, if complete an invoice will be issued to pay application fee.
- Application is referred for assessment.
Depending on your circumstance you may be required to supply the following documents with your application:
- Consent of the owner or proof of purchaser under contract ie. from purchasers Solicitor
- Work as executed architectural / structural engineering plans of the building
- Construction Certificate
- Occupation Certificate
- Fire safety details / certificates
- Swimming pool compliance certificate
- Details of any unauthorised / non complying works (plans, reports, certification)
- If the application relates to or encompass any building work carried out without, or not in accordance with a development consent, complying development certificate or construction certificate, specific written details of the works-as-executed architectural plans, structural engineering details and certification must be provided to Council’s satisfaction.
- Adequate details of the building are required to enable a full and proper evaluation of the application, which may include plans/specifications of the building, survey documentation, fire safety details, structural certification of the building, reports/details of compliance with the Building Code of Australia, structural certification of any awning or other structure located over a footway/public place and other relevant specialist reports or information.
- Council may require rectification work, repairs or other works to be undertaken prior to determination and issue of a Certificate.
- If it is reasonably necessary to carry out more than one inspection of the building before issuing a Certificate payment of an additional inspection fee will be required.
- If the property contains a swimming pool or spa pool which does not have a current Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance or Occupation Certificate, Council may carry out an inspection of the swimming pool barriers prior to the issue of a Building Information Certificate. Inspections of swimming pools are subject to payment of a separate fee.
Class 1 and Class 10 Buildings - $250 (each)
Other Building Classes:
- Floor are of the building or part not exceeding 200m2 - $250 (each)
- Floor area of building or part exceeding 200m2 but not > than 2000m2 - $250 + $0.50 per m2 over 200m2
- Exceeding 2000m2 - $1,165 + $0.75 per m2 for each square meter over 2000m2
In the case of an application which relates to unauthorised or non-complying building work a fee which is equivalent to the fee that would have been paid for a DA or Construction Certificate or a Complying Development Certificate (as applicable) will apply. For applications of this type fees are invoiced during assessment and are based on the value of the work carried out without the required consent. All fees must be paid before the Certificate can be issued.
This page was last updated on: 21 July 2021