The issuing of a Building Certificate (Planning - Form 7) prevents Council from requiring that the building be repaired, demolished, altered, added to or rebuilt in relation to any existing matters, or arising only from the deterioration of the building as a result of fair wear and tear; or from taking proceedings in relation any existing encroachment by the building onto land vested in or under the control of Council, for a period of 7 years from the date of issue.
A Planning Certificate provides information on how property, including land, houses, commercial and industrial buildings, may be used and any restrictions on its development. There are two types of Planning Certificates. The Certificate issued under Section 10.7(2) of the Act must contain the information specified by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and Regulation. The information includes permissible and prohibited uses and the names of the planning documents that affect the development of the land. The certificate issued under Section 10.7(2) & (5) of the Act may include any additional information affecting the land that the Council may be aware of such as any previous development applications. You may need to obtain a Planning Certificate when you are buying or selling a property. You should always seek legal advice or consult your agent regarding your exact requirements before buying or selling your property.
While the certificate will state all the relevant planning instruments that apply to the property, it does not specify specific development standards or terms of the instruments. If you propose to develop the property, it will be necessary to research thoroughly all of the terms of the planning instruments which apply to the land.
Planning Certificates are normally ready for collection or post within five working days after receipt of the application
You need to complete an application form (Planning - Form 2) clearly describing the details of the land eg. property address, lot and deposited plan number (this information can be found on a current rate notice) and the details of the current owner. Your application should be accompanied by payment of the relevant fee. Payment can be made in person at the Council Administration Office or via cheque or through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) by calling Council on (02) 6226 1477.
Inspecting a file
If you wish to inspect the property file of any property you are looking at purchasing you will need to obtain a letter signed by the owner of the property giving permission for potential buyers to view the file. This may be obtained via the real estate agent or your solicitor.
If you wish to inspect your own property file you must provide photo ID to prove your identity as the property owner.
The NSW Government Land and Property Information website provides further information that may be useful when buying or selling a property in NSW.