Unauthorised Building and Development

Council must exercise discretion when deciding how to deal with unauthorised work and take into account the evidence, cost to the community, public policies, legal precedent and circumstances of each individual case.


While we are proactive in identifying unauthorised work, Council also relies on help from the public. Please contact us if you suspect unauthorised work is taking place in your community.


Enforcement action may include:

  • Notices and Orders
  • Prosecution for criminal offences
  • Fines
  • Deeds of Settlement
  • Injunctions to restrain or remedy serious breaches (court orders).
  • It is a criminal offence to breach environmental laws and large fines and prison sentences may apply.

Role of Council when a Private Certifier is appointed

When a private certifier is appointed as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA), Council retains its regulatory role with enforcement powers. In these circumstances, however, Council is not responsible for ensuring building and construction compliance.

Private certifiers have the power to issue a Notice of Intention to Issue an Order to the owner or builder to comply with the conditions of consent or to rectify any breaches. A copy of the Notice of Intention issued by a private certifier must be provided to Council to assess whether it will be enforced by issuing an order.

Council and private certifiers work collaboratively to resolve any issues if they arise to achieve compliance with the development consent or complying development certificate. Council staff take steps to ensure individuals understand which agency performs which role.

Any complaints relating to a development site should be directed to the relevant Certifier (Council or Private) who has been engaged to manage the site from the issue date of the approval through to the time an Occupation Certificate is issued.

When a site is managed by a private certifier and a complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved, it must be lodged with the Building Professionals Board (the regulatory authority for private certifiers) whose details are outlined below:

Building Professionals Board
Phone: 9873 8537
Email: bpb@bpb.nsw.gov.au

Further details about individual Certifiers can be found by using the using the certifier search on the Building Professional Board website

Additional information is outlined on the former Hurstville City Council's Private Principal Certifying Authority Complaint Policy.


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Email us at: mail@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au
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