Property | 22 September 2021 2 min read

What is a Building Information Certificate? When should I get one?

Building Information Certificate

A Building Information Certificate (formerly known as building certificate) is a certificate issued by the local Council promising not to take any legal actions or issue any orders concerning the improvements (e.g. house, shed, garage, building etc) on the property for a period of 7 years from the date of the certificate.

Upon receipt of an application for a Building Information Certificate, the local Council will send a building inspector to inspect the buildings on the property to ensure that the improvements on the land comply with the Council’s approvals and requirements (e.g. the house was not altered without approval, the shed was constructed legally).  It is possible that the Council may discover any existing breaches during the inspection and consequently issue an appropriate order to the owner of the property.

On the other hand, a Building Information Certificate has no effect on the Council’s ability to issue a fire safety order or a building product rectification order as defined under the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 (NSW).


When to apply for the Building Information Certificate?

The laws in New South Wales do not require you to obtain a Building Information Certificate for property transactions. However, it is good practice to apply for the certificate when purchasing a property to ensure that there will be no costly surprise from the local Council.


How to apply for the Building Information Certificate?

Your property lawyer can apply this certificate on your behalf after exchange of the contract. It will take the Council at least 1-2 weeks to finalise the order. You will need to pay for the application fee (usually around $300) and provide a copy of the recent survey report. (We have discussed the costs and the purpose of a survey report in our previous article).

We have seen contracts which the vendor prohibits the purchaser to obtain a building information certificate or prohibits the purchaser to rescind or terminate the contract if the Council refuses to issue a building information certificate.


Should you have any further enquiries on the building information certificate, please do not hesitate to contact our property lawyer!

Contact us to get more information.

Contact Us

Related stories

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Queensland Property Purchaser

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Queensland Property Purchaser.... According to CoreLogic’s report in September 2021, Brisbane's dwelling values have risen 10.6% in the last year and are now at new highs. Queensland’s property market is now experiencing a massive surge in price and popularity in Australia and is attracting overseas investors as well.
    Property | 7 October 2021
  • Freezing Order – Avoid dissipation of assets

    Freezing order, also known as Mareva Injunction, is a court order to preserve the disputed assets of the ongoing proceedings (Freezing Order). The Freezing Order can restrain a party from dealing with certain assets, e.g. disposing, hiding or removing assets.
    Litigation | 5 October 2021
  • Why should property purchasers obtain a survey report?

    Why should property purchasers obtain a survey report? A survey report is a report prepared by a registered surveyor. The report usually includes a plan which identifies the land’s measurements and boundaries. The report will also reveal whether the improvement(s) on the land (e.g. a shed, garage, house, etc) and the fences have encroached onto the neighbour’s land.
    Property | 22 September 2021
  • What is General Skilled Migration (GSM)?

    General Skilled Migration (GSM) The General Skilled Migration Visa is an Australian work visa program for skilled migrants that primarily benefit skilled workers who wish to live and work in Australia on a permanent basis. This visa is also available to those who may obtain sponsorship from an Australian employer.   There are four types […]
    Migration | 6 August 2021
  • Recent changes to Subclass 188 Visa and the new Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)

    Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188) Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa, also known as Subclass 188 Visa allows you to own and manage a business in Australia, conduct business and investment in Australia, and engage in entrepreneurial activity in Australia.   Recent changes to Subclass 188 Visa The Australian government has made […]
    Migration | 5 August 2021
  • Business Visa Reform on Business Innovation and Investment Program from 1 July 2021

    Business Visa Reform on Business Innovation and Investment Program In general, the Australian business skills migration scheme will undergo a number of significant changes beginning on 1 July 2021. The following are the significant changes: The program will be reduced from nine (9) to four (4) streams, with the elimination of the two (2) streams […]
    Migration | 4 August 2021
  • What is Business and Investment Visa (Subclass 188 Visa)?

    Business and Investment (Provisional) Visa[1] The Business and Investment (Provisional) Visa Subclass 188 is a provisional visa for people with business skills, which allows you to operate a new or existing business, conduct business and investment activity in Australia. The Visa Subclass 188 is a provisional visa that allows the applicant to stay in Australia […]
    Migration | 3 August 2021
  • What is Global Talent Independent Program (GTI Visa)?

    Global Talent Independent Program (GTI Visa) The Global Talent Visa Subclass 858 is a special Australian visa for applicants who have an internationally excellent record of brilliant and outstanding achievements in a specific field. Visa subclass 858 is a permanent visa that allows the applicant to enter and stay in the country for an indefinite […]
    Migration | 2 August 2021
  • Tax-related matters in purchasing a property in New South Wales

    Purchasing a property in New South Wales requires you to pay several taxes which include transfer duty, (also known as stamp duty) for residential property, Premium Property Duty (for property over $3 million), surcharge purchaser duty (for foreign purchasers) and Goods and Services Tax on commercial and industrial property.
    Property | 29 July 2021
  • Defer stamp duty payment for eligible off-the-plan purchasers

    Off-the-plan purchasers may be able to defer paying for the stamp duty for up to 12 months after signing the contract, or until the property is completed or handed over, whichever comes first, on the basis that the property will be used as a principal place of residence.
    Property | 26 July 2021
  • Buying a property in NSW as a foreigner

    Buying a property in Australia as a foreigner is subject to additional restrictions. We discuss these restrictions below. Definition of a foreign person It is important to know if you are classified under the key term ‘foreign person’ under the current legislation as a foreign person is subject to a number of obligations under the […]
    Property | 7 July 2021
  • NSW Government Assistance for First Home Buyers

    If you are a first home buyer in New South Wales, you may be eligible for government assistance to own a home with duty exemption (or concession) and/or a one-off grant of $10,000.
    Property | 7 July 2021