Are retrospective council approvals possible? It's quite common for properties with multiple dwellings to have at least one dwelling that's un-approved. You can do something about it!

Un-approved Dwellings are not specific to this area. However it happens regularly that we do a building inspection on a property with multiple dwellings.  And it’s common for at least one of the dwellings to be an un-approved structure.

Are Retrospective Council Approvals a thing? The short answer is no.

From a buyer’s perspective is an un-approved dwelling a big drama? Maybe, maybe not. As a buyer would you be OK with Council one day taking that structure down? Especially given the purchase price of the property? 

Also, if you want to keep the structure, are you happy to go through the process of getting it sanctioned by Council? They don’t issue retrospective building approvals, but they do have a process for dealing with un-approved dwellings.

The following is how to proceed with the  Tweed Shire Council

Their requirement is to put in for a Building Information Certificate.

A Building Information Certificate is a formal certificate issued by Council which states that they will not take action in respect to a building which may include any un-authorised building work, dilapidated structure or building encroachment onto public land.

Council may require certain works to be carried out prior to the issue of the certificate or may refuse to issue a building certificate altogether.

A building information certificate is not a mandatory requirement when buying or selling a property but is strongly recommended by Council as it assists to protect the purchaser and lending institution. The inspection may reveal such things as any illegal building works, un-authorised use, structural defects and fire safety issues.

Here is the link to the form you’ll need to start this process:

When buying any property with multiple dwellings on it, clarify as much as possible before you get too far down the track.  Most agents and sellers will disclose this sort of information in advance but if it’s not addressed you need to ask.

You won’t get a retrospective council approval for your un-approved dwelling but you aren’t totally out of options!


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