Building Information Certificates

A Building Information Certificate is issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Why people apply for Building Certificates

A Building Information Certificate is usually sought by buyers or sellers of a property to make sure that the particular building (or part of a building) is not going to be the subject of regulatory action by the Council. It is also commonly applied for when work is undertaken without the appropriate approvals being issued by the council or accredited certifier.

By issuing a Building Information Certificate, Council confirms that it does not propose to issue an order, or commence proceedings for an order or injunction for, the subject building to be demolished, altered, added to or rebuilt. It also confirms Council will not commence proceedings in relation to any encroachment by the subject building onto Council land.

A Building Information Certificate may apply to the whole or part of a building and is valid for seven years.

Limits of a Building Information Certificate

A building information certificate does not prevent Council from issuing other types of notices and orders. For example, Council may still issue notices and orders in relation to fire safety, swimming pool safety and other public health and safety matters.

A building certificate does not certify that the barriers and fencing to swimming pools or spa pools complies with the Swimming Pools Act 1992. A separate application can be request for an inspection by downloading the swimming pool application form in which the Council can obtain a Certificate of Compliance for a Swimming Pool barrier. Alternatively, you may also request a swimming pool compliance certificate from a private certifier.

In order to determine an application for a building information certificate, Council will inspect the building and review relevant Council records and documents forming part of the application.

How to apply for a Building Information Certificate

Applications for a building information certificate are to be made on NSW planning portal Building Information Certificate application form which is on Councils web site will be required to be completed and uploaded onto the NSW planning portal along and accompanied by supporting documents, including a certified copy of a survey certificate of the building.

Council may require additional details to make a full and proper evaluation of the application. These will include works-as-executed architectural plans, building specifications, a registered survey, fire safety details, structural engineers certification of the building, report or certification from an registered building certifier, other details of compliance with the Building Code of Australia and any details relating to building works at the premises

Works you may have to carry out

Council may also require specified works to be undertaken before a building information certificate is issued. Consequently, you may need to complete works in accordance with:

  • an “active” Development Consent (i.e. DA&CC or CDC); and / or
  • the Exempt Development Criteria specified in the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). Examples of “Exempt Development” works include:
    • the installation of smoke detector alarms;
    • repair or renewal of defective guttering and downpipes;
    • rectification of property maintenance issues, etc.

Unauthorised Building Work 

A building information certificate may relate to building work that has been done without obtaining the required development consent and/or construction certificate or other relevant approval. Written details and certification (from a professional engineer and/or an accredited certifier - building surveyor) of any unauthorised or non-complying building work must be provided in order to determine the application.

Applying for a building information certificate for unauthorised work does not guarantee approval and Council may issue a Notice/Order for the demolition of the unauthorised building or portion. Should a Notice/Order be served, or the Building Information Certificate refused, rights exist for the recipient/applicant to appeal the Order/decision to the Land and Environment Court.

The issue of a building information certificate for any unauthorised works also does not affect Councils ability to issue a penalty notice (fine) or commence legal proceedings for carrying out the work without obtaining the required development consent and/or construction certificate, which is a breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Fees

A building information certificate must be accompanied by the appropriate prescribed fee. This fee is prescribed by the legislation and is listed in Councils fees and charges

The standard (minimum) fee for a Building Information Certificate is currently $250 for a Class 1 or Class 10 building.  However, additional fees apply in relation to:

  • Class 2 to Class 9 buildings (e.g. residential flat building, boarding house, aged care, commercial or industrial building).
  • Building work carried out without or not in accordance with development consent and/or construction certificate or complying development certificate, or associated provisions.
  • If it is necessary to carry out more than one inspection, or if the floor area of the overall building is greater than that stated in the application.

Frequently asked questions

How is this Certificate different from a section 10.7 Certificate?

A Building Information Certificate is issued under Section 6.24 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and applies to buildings situated on the land.

A Planning Certificate is issued under Section 10.7(2) and Section 10.7(5) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979and provides information about planning controls and development restrictions relating to a property.

Can I submit an old survey report with my application?

Yes, you can, provided the Survey Report represents all structures and buildings on the land as they exist at the time you lodge your application.

Does Council need to inspect my property

If you have carried out any building works since the date of your Survey Report, you will need a new report to include the additional building works

Yes, you must provide the details of the contact person available to organise access, on your application.

When the officer registers your application, they will contact you to organise a time for the building inspection. They will also confirm whether access is available on the allocated inspection date.

Are there any other penalties for unauthorised work

An application for a Building Information Certificate does not exclude the potential issue of fines for breaches under the Local Government Act 1993 and Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for unauthorised building works requiring development consent

Resources to help you lodge your application