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Is it safe to approach to council to check if part of the building is legal ?

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by Kangaroo, 28th Oct, 2015.

  1. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I have an IP in north western Sydney. On the back yard, there is a shed and a roofed pergola. How to find out if it is legal or not ? Will asking council trigger unwanted notice ? I tried to find out answers from existing threads but failed. I apologize if it duplicates with existing one.
     
  2. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    do it anonymously.
     
  3. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Check council website for building exemptions.
    Pergolas and sheds can be built provided they are less than a specified area, plus meet other criteria.
     
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  4. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Don't contact council with an address even anonymously as it could trigger an inspection. @bob shovel is right. Read council's definition of what is permitted with an application and see if your structures fit the criteria.

    A reminder that any item not covered under council will not be covered by your insurer.
     
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  5. JohnPropChat

    JohnPropChat Well-Known Member

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    Also depends on when those additions were added - rules keep changing. I would talk to a local draftee or similar to get started.

    Don't contact the council - retrospective approvals can be expensive and sometimes result in taking the *addition* down.
     
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  6. SueA

    SueA Well-Known Member

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    Had this happen to us, building inspection prior to purchase told us probably not approved pergola as it had no guttering, I also didn't want to trigger council looking into it After purchase I paid 100 bucks or so for full council plans for property and it had approvals for pergola, back deck and front verandah enclosure.
     
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  7. AlbertWT

    AlbertWT Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I also have some issue with this type of house addition that is not council approved. At the moment the property is still under unconditional contract, so should I negotiate for $1000-2000 discount or alert the council ?
     
  8. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Well-Known Member

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    Try negotiate down and it does not hurt anyway.
     
  9. AlbertWT

    AlbertWT Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Kangaroo supposed you've succeed in negotiate down the price, what would you do about it ?
    Report it to the Council after the settlement or before the settlement ?
     
  10. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    take the discount and dont say anything!!
     
  11. AlbertWT

    AlbertWT Well-Known Member

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    Ah I see, is there any implication if somehow the vendor or the agent reported me to the council ?
     
  12. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Well-Known Member

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    AbertWT: I was too naive back then to either checking the legality of the addition or asking for discount. So I am still not sure they are approved or not.
     
  13. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Well-Known Member

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    AlbertWT: If you like the house, just try to negotiate based on legality issue. Otherwise, do not worry. No one bothers reporting to council especially if it has been there for years.
     
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  14. AlbertWT

    AlbertWT Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's the thing that baffled me...

    Why the vendor/seller does not seek council approval first before building it ?

    As per @bob shovel mentions, no need to disclose it.
     
  15. Toon

    Toon Well-Known Member

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    I'm in a similar situation too. B&P report suspects several alterations & extension may not have council approval. Still in the period where I can terminate on B&P, but trying to get proof of approvals through solicitors ATM. Confused as to what to do if they're not approved. Sometimes I think ignorance would be bliss :confused:
     
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  16. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Ignorance can be bliss.... But depending on the work and how complex, the more risk of sub standard works. Minor stuff is a simple process to go through council, but extensions and any structural work may/will need thorough inspection from council, they may need you to open up sections of gyprock to check timber sizes and connections. Plus fees associated, not huge but worth finding out and negotiating off the sale price
     
    Last edited: 29th Oct, 2015
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  17. SueA

    SueA Well-Known Member

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    If ours wasn't approved I would have probably ignored it as the builder said it had been done to a very good standard and if I had to follow up , it is easy to see and inspect for approval.I personally would not have purchased without finding out if there was approval had an extension been done to the house. This would definitely cost bigger money to fix. At least now for you , the solicitor will find out for certain and you have the options of asking seller to provide approvals or asking for price reduction.
     
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  18. AndrewTDP

    AndrewTDP Urban Planning Consultant Business Member

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    Could fall under exempt development, depending on size, lot size etc.

    Here are the standards:
    The standards specified for that development are that the development must:
    (a) (Repealed)
    (b) have an area of not more than 25m2, and
    (c) not cause the total floor area of all such structures on the lot to be more than:
    (i) for a lot larger than 300m2—15% of the ground floor area of the dwelling on the lot, or (ii) for a lot 300m2 or less—25m2, and ​
    (d) not have an enclosing wall higher than 1.4m, and
    (e) be located behind the building line of any road frontage, and
    (f) be located at a distance from each lot boundary of at least:
    (i) for development carried out in Zone RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4, RU6 or R5—5m, or
    (ii) for development carried out in any other zone—900mm, and ​
    (g) (Repealed)
    (h) to the extent it is comprised of metal components—be constructed of low reflective, factory pre-coloured materials, and
    (i) have a floor height not more than 1m above ground level (existing), and
    (j) if it is a roofed structure attached to a dwelling—not extend above the roof gutter line of the dwelling, and
    (j1) be no higher than 3m at its highest point above ground level (existing), and
    (k) if it is connected to a fascia—be connected in accordance with a professional engineer’s specifications, and
    (l) be constructed or installed so that any roofwater is disposed of into an existing stormwater drainage system, and
    (m) not interfere with the functioning of existing drainage fixtures or flow paths, and
    (n) if it is located on bush fire prone land and is less than 5m from a dwelling—be constructed of non-combustible material, and
    (o) if it is constructed or installed in a heritage conservation area or a draft heritage conservation area—be located behind the building line of any road frontage.

    Sheds are max 20m2 and must be located 900mm from property boundary and no more than 3m in height.

    If it falls under those standards, it generally does not need approval.
     
  19. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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  20. AndrewTDP

    AndrewTDP Urban Planning Consultant Business Member

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    Yep. State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. Except for a few small excluded areas and heritage items etc.