Renovation and construction projects which alter an existing structure including extensions, removing load bearing walls without adequate support of the roof above, decks (of any height), garages, granny flats or studios, workshops or sheds, pergolas, constructing a roof over an existing deck, retaining walls and electrical & plumbing work conducted without the associated compliance and safety certificates being issued, all require a Building Permit and/or Council approval.

While a substantial number of homes may show evidence of illegal building in one form or another, many homeowners are not aware of the dangers, and potential liability, stemming from unregulated construction. This is especially true for new homeowners who unknowingly inherit illegally built structures when they purchase a home which has undergone renovations or extension prior to them assuming ownership. Owners take full responsibility for any illegal building work on their property regardless of who allowed it, built it, or when the illegal building work was done.

Sometimes homeowners bypass existing legal requirements in favor of working with tradespeople, even friends, who do not hold the appropriate licenses and skipping required approvals. While this can be cheaper and more efficient in the short term it may have far-reaching implications in the long run.

The consequence/s of performing construction work without the relevant permits can result in a hefty penalty fine and/or you may be asked to remove or demolish the structure itself (which will depend upon the nature and location of the structure).  It is illegal to carry out work on a building or structure without a permit and in doing so you are likely to be found guilty of defying the law defined in the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2006 which strictly prohibits individuals from performing construction work without a building permit.

Building Permits are required for multiple reasons, all of which are to ensure the safety of those constructing the structure as well as those that will be using it. Obtaining a Building Permit provides owners with the best chance of avoiding high risk situations from improperly wired, constructed or plumbed buildings. Building Permits are put in place to ensure that buildings comply with the Building Code of Australia, The Building Act 1993 and Building Regulation 2018. A Building Permit is an official document that certifies that a relevant Building Surveyor has given approval to plans and documentation before a project begins.

If it’s possible to resolve the illegal building works, retrospectively, a full set of architectural plans, structural plans and various reports, any evidence of insurance will be required and is assessed by a Registered Building Surveyor.  Additional building work may be required to improve the structures in order for them to be deemed compliant.  In some instances a planning permits may also be required.

To prevent potentially costly delays in the sale of your property, voiding your Home and Contents insurance or Council fines, it is always recommended to seek advice from a Registered Building Practitioner or Building Surveyor prior to commencing any works.

The team at Lateral Building Design can advise you, provide designs, documentation and obtain Building and Town Planning Permits for you!  Contact us on 9729 4973 to find out more about your current or next project.