A Building Information Certificate is issued by the Local Council for the whole or part of a building. The certificate is a confirmation from Council that Council will not issue an order, or take proceedings for an order or injunction, for the repair, demolition, alteration, addition or rebuilding of the building. The certificate also provides a confirmation that Council will not initiate proceedings with regard to any encroachment by the building onto land either owned or controlled by Council. The certificate is issued for a specified period, being a period of seven (7) years and only covers such matters which exist or occur at the time of issue of the certificate.
In order to apply for a certificate, an application must be lodged with Council. This application can be lodged by either:
- the property owner;
- a party with the property owner’s consent;
- a purchaser under an exchanged Contract for the sale of the property including their legal representative; or
- a public authority who has issued to the property owner a notice of their intention to apply for such certificate.
In addition, a Survey Report of the property together with payment of an application fee are required to be lodged with the application. Depending upon the building and surrounding circumstances, Council may request further information to support the application. Presently, the minimum application fee is $250 and this fee increases depending upon the classification of the building. A Survey Report of a standard residential property is a minimum cost of approximately $1,000 (fees vary between surveyors).
Those who should give serious consideration to obtaining a certificate include purchasers of property for which Council do not hold details of approval. For older properties, it is not uncommon for Council to not hold such details. Please note, purchasers seeking to apply for a certificate prior to exchange of Contracts require the consent of the property owner. For purchasers seeking to apply after exchange of Contracts, it is preferable to make the Contract conditional upon the issue of a satisfactory certificate.
Once the application for the certificate is lodged with Council, a mutually convenient time is scheduled for Council to inspect the building. Following the inspection, Council will either issue or refuse to issue the certificate. In the event Council refuses to issue the certificate, Council must notify the applicant and set out the reasons for its decision. Included in the reasons must be details of the work required to be undertaken to permit a certificate to issue. Depending upon the type of work required, this may result in additional costs.
Feeling overwhelmed by the intricacies of property ownership? Contact the friendly and experienced team at Everingham Solomons, where Helping You is Our Business.
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