Unauthorised Building Work

Find out about how we deal with unauthorised building work and what you can do if you have an unauthorised structure on your property.

What Is Unauthorised Building Work

Unauthorised building work is any building or structure that has been constructed, structurally altered or extended without a building permit obtained from a permit authority (i.e. a local government).

Under section 9 of the Building Act 2011 (WA) it is an offence to commence building work unless you have a building permit unless the proposed work is exempt from such a requirement.

What You Should Do if There Is an Unauthorised Structure on Your Property

If you have undertaken building work without prior approval, or purchased a property with unauthorised building work, you may be able to apply for retrospective approval if the building/structure complies with the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia or relevant Australian Standards.

Reporting Unauthorised Building Work

For information on how to report unauthorised building work, visit our Planning and Building Compliance page.

How We Deal With Unauthorised Building Work

In most cases, if the work complies with the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia or relevant Australian Standards, we will grant retrospective approval.

If the unauthorised building/structure does not meet the requirements or standards, we will work with you to identify what you can do to make the building/structure compliant. If compliance is not possible, we will ask you to remove the building/structure.

If you refuse to make the building/structure compliant or remove the structure, we may issue a building order directing you to remove the structure. If that is the case, you will be given 14 days’ notice that we intend to issue a building order, and then once the order is issued, 28 days to comply.

If you disagree with our decision to make the building order or the requirements of the order, you can apply for review by the State Administrative Tribunal. You must make this application within 28 days.

Non-compliance With a Building Order

Non-compliance with a building order may result in legal action and Court-imposed penalties or fines.

Planning/Development and Building Advice Regarding Retrospective Approvals

The advice on this page is a general guide only. We encourage you to contact us to discuss any unathorised work on your property. A planning officer and a building officer are available during business hours to provide advice on a range of matters either in person, over the phone, or by email. Depending on the complexity of the advice being sought we may ask you to lodge a request for written planning advice or a request for a deemed-to-comply check.

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