Illegal building works

Illegal building work occurs when a building permit is not issued on construction work that required a building permit to be issued. Such works might seem harmless now, but cause headaches at the time of property sale and have been known to cause a loss of property sale or reduction in sale price.

Legislative requirements

Part 16 of the Building Act 1993 states:

"A person must not carry out building works unless a building permit in respect of the work has been issued and is in force under this Act and the work is carried out in accordance with this Act, the Building Regulations and the permit."

Penalties for such breaches can range from 500 penalty units ($79,285) for an individual to 2500 penalty units ($393,925) in the case of a body corporate.

A building permit cannot be issued retrospectively for the works already carried out.

Where illegal building work has occurred Council can issue a Building Notice giving you the opportunity to show cause (indicate in writing) why the works were carried out without first obtaining a building permit. You have 30 days from the date of the Notice to respond.

Included in your response above, should be an indication of whether you wish to retain the works or alternatively wish to demolish/remove the works carried out without a building permit.

At this point you are not permitted to do any further works including the demolition/removal of the illegal works. You must only respond in writing to the Municipal Building Surveyor within the 30 days.

 

Demolition or removal of illegal works

 

The Council (Municipal Building Surveyor) will issue a Building Order giving you directions as to what works need to be done to reinstate the building/land to its original condition. No work can be carried out until you have received this Building Order.