When buying or selling make sure all structures are council approved to avoid delays

Sorrento Living Building Approval

Last week I had a close call with a settlement of one of my properties when I went to check on the building approvals the only thing that had been approved was the house.

There were two extra sheds in the backyard and I was worried that because they didn’t have approvals the settlement wouldn’t go through. So I went to the house and checked the size of the structure with my builder and the Joondalup Council and was lucky because they were less than 10 square metres and not stuck to the ground so it didn’t need a building approval.

So I was lucky and dodged a bullet this time but you have to make sure that all your additional structures and changes to the land are approved by the council.

Under Western Australian legislation (Building Act 2011) a building permit is required before commencement of most building work. Formal approval (a building permit) is required for any building work involving the development of new structures, alterations or extensions and changes in ground levels. These include:

  • Swimming pools, spas and barriers
  • Fences
  • Garden sheds
  • Verandahs
  • Gazebos
  • Garages
  • Workshops
  • Pergolas
  • Dwellings
  • Commercial buildings including fitouts and refurbishments
  • Industrial buildings
  • Changes to ground levels (e.g. cutting and filling soil)
  • Retaining walls.

The Building Regulations 2012 details building work for which a Building Permit is not required. Although a Building Permit may not be required for all works, it does not exempt those works which may require Planning Approval. If the total value of the work exceeds $20,000 a permit is issued to a registered builder, or in some circumstances, an owner builder.

Upon issue of a Building Permit by the permit authority, works shall be completed within 24 months of issue date, or other time frame as specified by the permit authority. It is important to ensure sufficient time for assessment of your Building Permit.

Application Forms and Guides are available on-line and you can call the City of Joondalup for further information on 9400 4961.