Aussies Living Simply

Council permits for existing buildings

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    Has anyone ever travelled down the road of applying for Council approval for a building that has been standing for 11+ years and if so can you let me know the sort of hoops you have to jump through to get it passed? I bought my property 11 years ago, it had/has a building which contains 2 stables, 2 car spaces and a tack room. I do not know who built it so cannot get plans for the building. I do not know of any reason why the building would not comply or why the previous owners never bothered to get a permit.



    I’m interested in your question. Why is it you are asking it? Why is a building permit a question 11 years on?



    I would be very careful about trying this – the building is unlikely to meet current standards and the council’s easiest option is to order you to demolish it. Even if they don’t they are likely to want expensive inspections and upgrades. Just the fees alone will likely run to thousands. I don’t have a lot of experience just built a house in an area where most houses aren’t approved and now I know why.


    yes our experience from others is to be carefull buying properties with structures with out permits, we would ask the original ownere who is selling to arrange for all permits to be completed or we would not buy it.

    all you can do now is plead ignorance to the local council building dept’ and see where it leads you. we would hope for your sake it all passes with ease.

    when you bought was there any work orders on the property? they cover things like un authorised works/extensions.

    the biggest issue is patios/verandahs that have been converted to sleepouts often their ceiling height are too low for planning regulations. another is a high set built in underneath.



    Around here if you want a permit for a shed/house you get a dodgy engineer who signs off on it and you give him 5 G and you go to council.

    Unless council is hassling you or you want to sell for more money, I would avoid unnecessary bureaucracy if its possible.


    Reason i want it to be approved is that i want to put solar on (it’s my only north facing roof). I do not know why they didn’t get it approved. It has always worried me so I’m now at the stage of weighing up cost of rectifying it so that it complies, or having it removed and putting an aluminium shed that will be able to hold a solar system. It is a nice looking building so an aluminium shed will not be an improvement – but there you go. Various neighbours saying I should have no trouble getting it approved – but if that is the case the previous owners inaction is strange. Wont go down the shonky path – it would just continue the concern.


    Is it being shonky to out-shonk the shonks?

    My advice would be to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’. Unless a neighbour complains or you bring it to councils attention yourself you won’t have a problem.

    Of course that doesn’t address your problem with fitting your solar, but perhaps there is another way?


    Does the company you’re getting solar from require to see a permit? Have they asked for anything?

    Our place doesn’t have a permit! It was here before the council was. 😉 No issues with solar installation or anything else for that matter..

    Seems strange.. is it just a Qld thing perhaps?


    My hubby is a builder and has had to deal with this quite a few times. Usually with the local govts around here it works out ok. The client (property owner) hire a building inspector who informs them of any additional requirements to the structure that would be required and go from there. Sometimes it is extensive and they decide not to go ahead with the additional building work and therefore the permit requirement so not sure how those ones would have turned out.


    Is your house legal?

    I thought you just tick a box that it is and get solar.

    A friend had hers put on her shed but it was ticked as being put on the house.

    No one checks as long as the house is a legal dwelling

    Solar guy just wants the money.


    If it was me i would put in plans to construct a “new’ shed same size same place and then do nothing ………….


    The house is legal and I have decided to put the solar on the East roof of the house. Not ideal, but i don’t want to create an even bigger problem with the stable block.

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