I just received a Building Notice from Council. What should I do now?

If you have received a Building Notice, Order or Minor Works Order from Council, you will first notice that you have 30 days to respond. Don’t leave it to the last minute. If you are proactive, you will avoid the stress and high costs involved. Contact us today so that we can understand Council’s concerns and explain what you can expect from the process.

The notice mentions demolition. Does that mean I need to demolish my work?

Not necessarily. A building notice must ask you to show cause as to the why the building should be done, in this case, demolish a building that was built without a building permit. If you can provide documentary evidence that demonstrates compliance with the building regulations, you can satisfy council requirements, and they may remove the building notice or order. That’s where we come in. We have developed a comprehensive inspection and report process to provide the certification of the existing structure and assist in allowing Council to cease enforcement action. In some cases, rectification work may be necessary, and we will advise if you need a building permit to carry these out before proceeding. The need for demolition of the entire structure is very rare.

I obtained advice that I didn’t need a building permit for the works, why has a notice been served?

Unless you received advice about the need for a permit from a registered building practitioner, preferably a building surveyor, it is likely you have been misinformed. Building surveyors are well versed in the requirements of the Building Act and Regulations and can provide knowledgeable advice on your proposed project.

Even something as simple as increasing the size of an internal doorway can trigger the need for a building permit as it has structural implications for the building. As the owner of the property, your are responsible for ensuring that the building work that you do has the necessary permits and approvals before works commencing. While you may have done the right thing by asking the question in the first place, you are still responsible for your property. If in doubt, ask a registered building surveyor, or contact your local council.

I recently purchased the property and was not responsible for the works in the building notice. Do I still have to comply?

Yes. Unfortunately, as the new owner of the property, you will inherit any non-compliance from previous owners and are fully responsible for any illegal building works on the property. At this point, you may wish to seek legal advice as to your rights to seek compensation from the previous owner. However, time is critical as you are limited to regulatory time restrictions to respond and act upon the building notice or order.