Maybe you have purchased your home or an investment property a long time ago and you were not concerned about the pergola, balcony, shed, pool, that office “tucked in” somewhere had not been approved by the Council.
Times have changed and recently due to issues, buyers are demanding everything to be Council approved. So to avoid a catastrophe, penalty costs, settlement delays… or a cancelled sale during the sale of your home you need to make sure all home improvements have the necessary building approvals before putting your house on the real estate market.
Sellers tip: Go the the council and pay $100 to get your property’s BA (Building Approvals) so you know that the house, the pergola, the pool, etc has been lodged and approved.
Buyers tip: If you really want the house, there is no problem. Either the seller or the buyer can get an agreement which either one or both carry with the expenses and get a Compliance Surveyor to draw up the structure and get Council of the non approved structure.
It is a simple process. But can take at least 6 weeks to get the approval.
Settlement can happen prior and the approval will come later.
Here are the latest news on building approvals:
Introduction of the new Building Act to Western Australia on 1 April 2011
Legislation to introduce private certification of building licenses is currently before the State Parliament and it is expected to apply around 1 April 2012. The new Building Act is expected to significantly speed up building approvals, reduce construction costs and bring the Western Australia in line with the rest of the country.
A streamlined local government building licence process will enable local authorities to issue new building permits within 14 days of lodgment instead of the existing 35 days when the new Building Act comes into effect.
The legislation is expected to pave the way for a system of private certification to replace the current building licensing process. Private certifiers must be accredited building surveyors registered with the Building Commission of Western Australia.
Western Australia is the only state or territory which does not have a system of private certification for building permits, with building licences only issued by local government authorities currently.
This change in legislation will mean a more efficient building permit process, saving money for all sectors due to reduced pressure on project programs.
Certification fees will be market competitive and local government fees will be based on a levy system which will create opportunities for local certifiers as well as those from other states.
The changes will relieve pressure on local government authorities to issue building licenses within time frames and meet the competitive expectations of the real estate market and the construction industry.
By engaging a private registered building surveyor to act as a private certifier, the property owner, builder, developer behind a project can effectively deliver proof to the local authority that the design and all other necessary requirements have been met.
The same process will apply to the issue of retrospective building approvals, changing the current process for addressing building works which have commenced prior to approval being obtained.
More information is available on this topic at www.buildingcommission.wa.gov.au