Unapproved Structures in Canberra

It is very common in Canberra for properties to contain unapproved structures, this does not mean it's ok! You have a legal obligation under the crown lease to only build approved structures.

By Steve Lowe

17-05-2019
It is very common in Canberra for properties to contain unapproved structures, this does not mean it's ok!
You have a legal obligation under the crown lease to only build approved structures.

The most common structures/works requiring approval are listed below.

Decks
Pergolas
Garages or Carports
Fireplaces
Roof cladding conversions
Internal and Sub-Floor structural alterations
Pool fences

Common documentation requirements for existing work approvals are below.

Plans detailing the works for approval
Structural Engineers, certificate of structural sufficiency
Entity clearances
Proof of ownership of the property
Appointment of a Certifier and Builder

The fees associated with the approval process differ depending on the works requiring approval and documentation needed.

Engaging a Building Certifier early is essential so that the required assessments and processes can be undertaken early to determine the requirements for approval.

Example of why a Pergola needs approval.

A pergola with a total height of more than 3m above the adjacent ground level, covered area of the pergola is greater than 25m2 and has members spanning more than 4m without a support.

The pergola is located behind the front of the residence. Due to the pergolas height, size and construction. A Building Approval (BA) is required.

Estimated approval timeframe from start to finish (excluding rectification work, if applicable) is 4-6 weeks.

When a structure/work is deemed exempt from approval.

A structure or work needs to comply with ALL exemption criteria in order to be deemed exempt from approval.

If a structure or work is exempt, it is still recommended that an exemption notice package (which includes plans or the structure/work and documentation confirm its exemption) is submitted to the ACT Government’s Planning section.

Please contact ACT Certification Services Pty Ltd for more information.

Tags

| selling | Canberra property