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 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 the barriers and fencing to swimming pools or spa pools complies with the Swimming Pools Act 1992. A separate application called a Request for Inspection and Certificate of Compliance for a Swimming Pool can be made with an Accredited Certifier  or Council to obtain a Certificate of Compliance for a Swimming Pool (Council)

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 must be submitted on the NSW Planning Portal. All documents are to be supplied and uploaded at the submission of the application in separate PDF files and named as per the Electronic Lodgement Requirements. Documents include the completed Building Information certificate application, accompanied by the supporting documents and a certified survey certificate of the building.

Council may require additional details to make a full and proper evaluation of the application. These may 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 accredited 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. For example:

  • installation of smoke detector alarms
  • repair or renewal of defective guttering and downpipes
  • repair or renewal of other noticeable building defects
  • other necessary building or fire safety works

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.


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.

There is a standard (minimum) fee for a Building Information Certificate. 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.

Apply online for e-Certificates

We’re making the application for Certificates quicker and easier with the expansion of our online e-Certificates system.

You can now apply online for:

  • Section 10.7 Planning Certificates
  • Section 603 Rating Certificates
  • Section 735A and 121ZP Certificates.

Apply now