Building Surveyors, Land Certificates and Building Certificates – Who’s in Charge?

There are building surveyors who carry out the assessment and review as part of a building control procedure. They record their findings in writing and submit the information to the authority in charge of the project for submission to the Building Control Agency. This is usually done by the local council. 

The next step is to apply to a building certificate authority who is an independent private firm that carries out the inspections as well as performing all the necessary follow-up roles and sub-contracting functions. However, the authority may not have the technical expertise to carry out a thorough inspection as they are not as technically qualified as the surveyor/builders.

Building Certifiers

Building certifiers are independent commercial building surveyors who are engaged in the business of building approvals. Each year they send their clients a draft of their report for examination by the relevant local body. If the local council approves the draft then the certificate is issued. If the local body doesn’t agree with the draft then the building surveyor enters their reasons in the report. At the end of the year, the next annual report is sent to the client with detailed explanations of all the changes made throughout the year and the reasons for those changes.

These reports enable building certifiers to accurately assess building works and avoid unnecessary re- approving processes. It gives building certifiers a benchmark against which to measure. The major types of changes included are alterations, extension proposals, the foundation works, roofing, extension works, demolition, alterations and extensions. The annual report also details all the re-approved projects for that year. If you’re looking for specialists in Queensland, consider these Brisbane certifiers

An important aspect of this building certification is its impact on the statutory planning regime in your area. Local authorities and councils require building certifiers to advise them before issuing planning permission. This is because the majority of local authorities do not have a statutory planning policy. Therefore, if a building is in breach of building regulation, then the town planning office will issue a fine if it is not brought into compliance before the end of the current planning year.

Landlords and councils are always keen to attract tenants by promoting buildings that have passed the annual inspection. So you might think that building certifiers have little to no bearing on the number of properties on the market. However, the fact is that building certifiers can influence the number of applications made by building work contractors. 

For example, if a building certifier notices that there was poor quality timber used in decking, then it may make the builder think twice about using sub-standard timber when constructing a deck. This could increase the risk of finding quality decking materials and therefore increase the number of properties that fall into the planning category.

Private Certifiers

Private certifiers play an important role in ensuring that the correct planning standards and building codes are adhered to by both the state and private property owners. They are often called upon by the state to assist them in making decisions on whether there has been a breach of the building code or not. 

The role of private building certifiers is to ensure that the building work is carried out to the highest of standards and to ensure that they are not required to compensate for their own mistakes. Many a court case has been centred on the issue of compensation by building certifiers.

Types of Building Certifiers

There are three types of certifiers in Australia. These include building surveyors, land specialists and building certificate authorities. Building surveyors are independent building examiners who inspect sites intending to improve the quality of building codes. 

Land specialists are professional land surveyors who apply land surveying methods to ensure that the necessary construction documentation is completed in line with the building codes. Lastly, building certificate authorities are employees of a body that licenses building certifiers, monitors their activities and enforces the rules of the organization.

There are many instances where building certifiers have been relied upon by developers in getting development approvals despite their doubts and objections. In one case, developers insisted on having the building examiners take the position that the site complied with all the building codes. This caused much inconvenience to the certified examiners who had to repeatedly backtrack because of conflicting views from their employers. Fortunately, many years ago, these situations were remedied when the regulatory bodies were brought in to oversee these professions and ensure that they followed set guidelines and criteria.

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