Illegal building work typically includes any construction, alteration, or addition to a property that is carried out without the required approvals or permits from the local council.

If you’ve made modifications to your property without the proper approvals, the team at Sydney Drafting are here to help you remedy the situation. Our team is adept at managing the paperwork and guiding you through the process, whether you’re in the CBD, Northern Suburbs, Western Sydney, Southern Sydney or any other area in NSW.

What happens if the council finds out about unauthoriSed construction?

  1. Council Inspection: The council inspects your property to evaluate the unauthorised work.
  2. Regulation Breach Identification: They identify which building regulations have been breached.
  3. Correction Notice: You will receive a notice detailing the necessary corrections and the deadlines to comply.
  4. Permit Process: You’ll need to begin the process of obtaining the necessary permits or a Building Information Certificate (BIC) to meet compliance standards.
  5. Consequences of Non-Compliance: Ignoring these issues may lead to penalties, such as fines or a stop work order.
  6. Compliance Goal: The aim is to ensure your property adheres to all relevant regulations.
  7. Follow-Up Inspections: The council will conduct additional inspections to confirm compliance and safety.

Here's how Sydney Drafting can assist you:

  • Initial Consultation: Contact us to discuss your situation and provide any correspondence you’ve received from the council.
  • Service Quote: We’ll give you an estimate for our services.
  • Report Preparation: Our team will prepare a detailed report on the necessary corrections and create plans for council submission.
  • Submission to Council: We’ll submit the report and plans (including BIC) to the council for their review.
  • Post-Correction Inspection: After you’ve made the necessary changes, the council will conduct an inspection. If everything is satisfactory, they will issue a compliance certificate.
  • Continued Usage Application: We’ll assist you in applying for continued use of the property with the council.

With Sydney Drafting, you’ll have a knowledgeable partner to navigate through these challenges and achieve compliance.


These FAQs are based on general practices and may vary slightly between different local councils in Sydney. It’s always recommended to consult directly with your local council or contact the team at Sydney Drafting for specific advice and assistance.

A BIC certifies that the council won’t order or take proceedings for the building to be demolished, altered, added to, or rebuilt over the next seven years. It’s needed for works not previously approved.

Contact your local council to apply for a BIC. You may need to submit detailed plans and reports of the unauthorised work. The team at Sydney Darfting will be happy to help you with the process of obtaining a BIC.

The timeline for rectification is specified in the correction notice and varies based on the extent of the works and the specific council.

It’s important to contact the council as soon as possible to discuss any difficulties in meeting the deadline. Extensions may be granted in some cases.

Councils may discover illegal building works through several means:

  1. Neighbour Complaints: Neighbours or community members often report suspected illegal construction activities to the council.

  2. During Assessment of Other Applications: If you submit an application for a different building or development work, the council might identify unapproved works during their review.

  3. Council Surveillance Programs: Some councils run regular surveillance programs to monitor and ensure compliance with local building regulations.

  4. Utility Companies Reports: Utility companies may report unusual or unapproved service connections discovered during their operations.

  5. Real Estate Transactions: Illegal works might come to light during property valuations, inspections for property sales, or conveyancing processes.

These methods highlight the importance of obtaining necessary approvals for any building or renovation works to ensure compliance with local council regulations.

Yes, in addition to fines and orders to rectify the work, property owners can face legal action from the council if they fail to comply with regulations or correction notices.

Feel free to contact us, and/or your local council for advice. You may need to apply for a retrospective approval or Building Information Certificate (BIC) and potentially undertake rectification work.

Requirements can vary depending on the local council and the specific characteristics of your property and neighbourhood. As a general guide, some examples are: 

  • Any alterations that affect the structure of the building, like removing or altering load-bearing walls.
  • Major modifications to the plumbing or electrical system usually need approval to ensure they meet safety standards.
  • Building or altering decks, pergolas, or similar structures, especially if they’re above a certain size or height.


Sydney Drafting is made up of both trades people and building designers, meaning our house plans work. They have been drawn by designers, with builders in mind.