Buying and selling property

Before you go too far down the track of investing in plans to develop or purchase a property, you should make sure you understand the opportunities and constraints of the land and the area.  

Book a free appointment (30 minutes) with one of our officers to discuss your plans and find out more information about a property.

When buying a property you should seek legal advice from a solicitor or conveyancer. They will give you detailed information to protect your interests including requirements under the Conveyancing Act 1919 and the Local Government Act 1993. 
 
Written information about a specific property can be sought from Council on request and payment of the relevant fee. The request for information is usually applied for by the owner or someone with the written consent of the owner or by the Solicitor.

Common searches

Revenue certificates (rates and water)

Section 603 Certificate

A 603 Certificate is required during the sale of property. It shows if there are any outstanding fees for rates, water or charges due to Council for a property (Lot and DP).

Postponed rates appear on a 603 as a debt against the property.

Timing: The standard certificate is generally processed within 5 working days.

Apply:
Paying by credit card - ePayment and Property Services
Other payment methods - Conveyancing form

Special water meter reading

This is requested during the sale of a property. Council will do an individual water meter reading for a specific water meter at a property to show the water consumption.

The reading is from the latest water notice issued to the special water meter reading date. This helps to calculate the consumption amount during the settlement process that is yet to be billed.

Timing: The standard certificate is generally processed within 5 - 10 working days.

Apply:
Paying by credit card - ePayment and Property Services
Other payment methods - Conveyancing form

To advise Council of the settlement details please use our Property settlement payment allocation form(PDF, 68KB)

Read more about meter reading and billing schedule.

Development Certificates (10.7)

Planning certificates 10.7

Planning certificates are required upon the sale or purchase of a property. A zoning certificate must be included in the sale contract.

Section 10.7 Planning Certificates, also known as zoning certificates, are legal documents issued by Council under the provisions of Section 10.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The certificate provides information on planning controls and any development restrictions which may apply to a particular parcel of land within the Council area.

There are 2 types of certificates:

10.7 (2) Certificate

This provides information (including but not limited to):

  • Land Zoning
  • Flooding
  • Bushfire
  • Applicable Local Environmental Plans and Development Control
10.7 (2) and (5) Certificate

This provides the same information as above but also includes:

  • Development approval/s issued within the last 5 years
  • Draft Environmental Planning Instruments
  • Further information regarding contamination (if applicable)
  • Building height
  • Aircraft noise

Timing: The standard certificate is generally processed within 5 working days.

Apply: 
Paying by credit card – ePayment and Property Services 
Other payment methods – Conveyancing form

Dwelling Entitlement Search

Not all properties have a legal right to build a dwelling on them. Dwelling Entitlements can be dependent upon zoning, lot size and date of subdivision approval.

Dwelling Entitlement searches provide formal advice determining whether a property has a legal right to construct a dwelling. Dwelling Entitlement advice cannot be given verbally. An application must be submitted to Council.

Please note that if there are multiple lots you need to apply for each lot on a separate application form and pay the applicable fee per lot.

Timing:  The standard search is generally processed within 14 working days, dependent on information being available.

Apply:
Paying by credit card – ePayment and Property Services 
Other payment methods – Conveyancing form

Development Consent Search

A Development Consent search is generally applied for when purchasing land.

The consent search investigates and provides copies of all approvals issued on the current (and past) lot for a particular land parcel.

Please note that if there are multiple lots you need to apply for each lot on a separate application form and pay the applicable fee per lot.

Timing: The standard search is generally processed within 14 working days.

Apply:
Paying by credit card - ePayment and Property Services
Other payment methods - Conveyancing form

Building, environmental and health searches

Drainage diagram

A drainage diagram is a copy of a plan showing the location of Council’s sewer mains in relation to the property boundaries.

The diagram is valuable as the sewer main position can impact on the development of the site. It also provides the directional flow of the sewer mains.

Timing: The standard diagram is generally processed within 5 working days.

Apply:
Paying by credit card - ePayment and Property Services
Other payment methods - Conveyancing form

Read more about stormwater and water connections and disconnections.

Outstanding Health or Building notices

A Health or Building notice is a notification, order, direction or demand issued by Council on a building in relation to health or building matters.

The Local Government Act and Environmental Planning and Assessment Act allows a person to apply to Council to find out if there are any such notification, order, direction or demand outstanding and any action proposed to be taken or that may be taken by Council in relation to any notice.

Timing: The standard search is generally processed within 10 - 15 working days.

Apply: Conveyancing form

Onsite Sewerage Management Inspection and pre-purchase report

An on-site sewage management system inspection report is a written report issued by Council following inspection of all existing waste-water treatment, reuse and disposal systems installed within the property.

The report details the general condition and adequacy of all sewage management systems at the time of the inspection and includes recommendations for any necessary rectification or remediation works.

Timing: The report is generally processed within 10 - 15 working days.

Apply:
Paying by credit card - ePayment and Property Services
Other payment methods - Conveyancing form

Read more about on-site sewage management.

Building Information Certificate

A Building Information Certificate (if issued) is a formal certificate issued by Council which states that Council will not take action in respect to a building which may include any unauthorised 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 information certificate.

The Building Information Certificate does not certify that the building complies with the relevant legal requirements, nor is it a status report in respect of the defects or contraventions which may exist in the building. Should this information be required, you are advised to seek the opinion and services of a reputable building inspection organisation.

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, unauthorised use, structural defects and fire safety issues.

The certificate is only valid in regard to anything that existed at the time of the inspection.

Timing: The standard search commences within 10 working days. Length of time to issue certificate varies.

Apply: Building Information Certificate application form(PDF, 217KB)

Swimming Pool Certificate

A Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate is a formal certificate issued by Council which states that at the time of inspection the swimming pool complies with the requirements of Part 1 of the Swimming Pools Act 1992, which includes the requirements for swimming pool fencing.

The owner must be the applicant and this is a requirement of sale.

Timing: The certificate is generally processed within 15 - 20 working days.

Apply:
Application for Certificate of Compliance(PDF, 114KB) (Swimming pool)
Application for Certificate of Exemption(PDF, 134KB) (Swimming pool)

Read more about swimming pools and spas.

Copy of approved building plans

With the owner’s consent you can request a copy of approved plans relating to a building on the property.   

There are 2 ways to apply for this information:

1. Building Information copy of plans - fees apply

Timing: Please allow up to 10 working days for application to be processed.

Apply: Application for Building Information(PDF, 200KB)

2. Informal Access Request

You may first arrange to view the file to select the particular plans or detail required as some detail may be irrelevant to your needs. Plan copying charges may apply.

Timing: Informal requests can take up to 60 working days.

Apply: Informal Access Request(PDF, 253KB)

Occupation Certificate

An Occupation Certificate is a certificate that authorises the occupation and use of a new building or the change of use of an existing building.

With the owners consent you can apply for a copy of an Occupation Certificate where one has been issued for a building.

Apply: for the Application for Occupation Certificate form visit the NSW Planning Portal.

Deposited Plans or Instrument 88B

An 88b instrument is part of a deposited plan. Upon registration, this can be used to create easements, restrictions on land use and covenants.

Deposited Plans define legal boundaries of land and often record subdivisions, easements, resumptions or are prepared to support Primary Applications.  Deposited Plans (and Strata Plans) are copyright to the NSW Land and Property Information (NSW LPI).

Apply: Copies of plans can be obtained from NSW Land and Property Information (NSW LPI) or call 1300 396 076.