When purchasing your home it is most important to ensure that all works undertaken on the property have been approved by Council. Occasionally buildings such as the main dwelling, garages, bungalows, pergolas, carports and even extensions are built without a building permit or are built over sewer mains without the consent of the water authority. If the relevant authority discovers this, it usually requires that the structures be demolished or changed to comply with regulations. This can be expensive and stressful. When acting on your behalf we check with the local council building department that a building permit and final approval or occupancy certificate has been issued for all structures on the land (including the dwelling itself and any additions or structural improvements) before your purchase.
When acting on your behalf for a sale it is a policy of our office to attach any certificates and approvals to your marketing contract as this will in turn save prospective purchasers time in chasing them up and in turn will make your property more marketable and the exchange more straightforward.
If the council does not hold any approvals for the property then the most common course of action is to apply for a building certifiacte.
What is a Building Certificate?
A Building Certificate is a certificate issued by Council stating it will not make certain Orders or take certain action under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 or the Local Government Act 1993, 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 to take proceedings in relation to any encroachment by the building onto land under the control of Council, for a period of seven (7) years. A certificate is usually applied for when selling houses or other property.
Why do I want a Building Certificate?
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.
Who can apply for a Building Certificate?
- The owner(s) of the land on which the building is erected; or
- Anyone having the owner(s) written consent; or
- A solicitor or conveyancing agent acting for a purchaser or the owner; or
- By a public authority that has notified the owner of its intention to apply for the certificate.
Building Certificate Fees & Charges
Building Certificate for Port Macquarie Hastings Council – $270.00
Survey – $700.00 approximately. Please ask your surveyor for an accurate quote.
What Other Choices do I Have?
A Building Certificate is not a requirement by law. If the vendor will not provide one and you are not prepared to organize one yourself, the options you have are:
- Take the property as it is bearing in mind that if you do any additions, renovations or any other works requiring Council approval and Council finds issues with the original structure(s) that require attention, Council can order them to be upgraded or demolished at your cost.
- Walk away from the contract.