Unauthorised Building Works

Find out about how the City deals with unauthorised building work and what you can do if you have an unauthorised structure on your property.

What is unauthorised building work?

Any building or structure that has been constructed, structurally altered or extended without a Building Permit obtained from the permit authority (i.e. the local government) is classed as an unauthorised structure.

Under s.9 of the Building Act 2011, it is an offence to commence building work unless a Building Permit is in place, or the proposed building work is exempt from such a requirement.

What should I do if I have an unauthorised structure?

If you have undertaken building work without prior approval, or purchased a property with unauthorised structure/s, you may be able to submit an application to obtain retrospective approval from the City.

There are two types of retrospective building approval. For unauthorised work to a Class 1 or Class 10 building, you may be able to apply for a Building Approval Certificate. If the unauthorised work and/or permanent change of use is to a Class 2 – 9 building, a retrospective Occupancy Permit application may be lodged with the City.

It should be noted that in some cases, you may also need to apply for retrospective Planning Approval from the City’s Statutory Planning Services.

Unauthorised building works Class 1 & 10 Buildings (Residential & Non-Habitable)

If you are the owner of a residential property with unauthorised structures, you may be able to lodge an application for a Building Approval Certificate (BAC) to the City to obtain retrospective approval for the structure/s.

Please note that in some instances, the unauthorised structure/s may also require retrospective Planning Approval. This must be obtained from the City’s Statutory Planning Services prior to the submission of an application for a Building Approval Certificate.

Retrospective Occupancy Permit Class 2-9 Buildings (Sole Occupancy Units, Commercial & Industrial)

If building work has been carried out without a valid building permit in place, or there has been a permanent change of use / classification to an existing building without prior approval from the City, you must submit an application for an Occupancy Permit (OP) to obtain retrospective approval for the unauthorised work and/or change of use.

It should be noted that the unauthorised work and/or change of use may also require retrospective Planning Approval. This must be obtained from the City’s Statutory Planning Services before you lodge an application for a retrospective Occupancy Permit.

How does the City deal with unauthorised building work?

In most cases, the City is able to grant retrospective approval for unauthorised building work and/or structures. However, if the unauthorised building / structure does not meet the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia or relevant Australian Standards, you may be required to remove the structure.

Please be advised that in some instances, depending on the seriousness of the breach to the Building Act 2011, the City may consider legal action which may include the issuance of a Building Order and/or referral to the City's solicitors for prosecution.

The following forms are available from the 'Related Documents' area below:

  • BA13 - Building approval certificate application form
  • BA9 - Occupancy permit application form
These forms are also available on the Building Commission website.
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9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

Po Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

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