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Building certificates

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Building certificates

What is a Building Certificate?

A Building Certificate is issued under Section 149A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 once a Building Certificate is issued, it prevents Council from:

  • making an order (or taking proceedings for the making of an order or injunction) under this Act or the Local Government Act 1993 requiring the subject building to be repaired, demolished, altered, added to or rebuilt, and 
  • taking proceedings in relation to any encroachment by the subject building onto land vested in or under the control of Council, in relation to matters existing or occurring before the date of issue of the certificate.

However, a building certificate does not operate to prevent a council:

  • from making order No 6 in the Table to section 121B, or
  • from taking proceedings against any person with respect to that person's failure:
    (i) to obtain a development consent with respect to the erection or use of the building, or
    (ii) to comply with the conditions of a development consent.

Obtaining a Building Certificate for a property is a way an owner, or potential purchaser, or a financial institution can be assured that the structural assets on the property are in reasonable repair, are safe, and have the approval of Council. A Building Certificate is often associated with the sale of the property, refinancing loans associated with the property, or the regulation of building works that may have been built without Council Approval.

What information is required with a Building Certificate application?

Council may generally requires all or some the following information to be provided with any application for a Building Certificate:

  • A completed Building Certificate application form detailing exactly which structures the application relates to and whether it relates to the whole or part of those structures.
  • A survey report identifying all relevant structures on the subject property.
  • Architectural Drawings
  • National Construction Code (BCA), compliance reports
  • (Note: If the applicant is able to provide evidence that no material change has occurred in relation to the building since the date of a survey certificate which, or a copy of which, is supplied to the council by the applicant, the council is not entitled to require the applicant to supply a more recent survey certificate).
  • Access arrangements – It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that access for Council to inspect the subject structures has been arranged.

Council's Building Certification checklist can be found on this page under the 'Building-related applications' heading.

Who can issue a Building Certificate?

Council is the only authority that may issue a building certificate.

Assessment timeframes for Building Certificates

Prior to assessing and/or issuing a Building Certificate, a Council Building Surveyor will need to conduct a site inspection of the premises.

The initial timeframe for assessment for a Building Certificate can take up to ten (10) Working days.

Building Certificate fees

For Building Certificate fees, please refer to Council's Fees and Charges.

Building Certification application/checklist forms

Council's Building Certification forms can be found on this page under the 'Building-related applications' heading.