Granny Flat Certification – The Total List of Certificates Needed

  • Home
  • Certificates
  • Granny Flat Certification – The Total List of Certificates Needed

If you are building a granny flat, there are various Certificates that you will require. They are needed to have it comply with council. Here is a List of granny flat certificates needed:

 

  • Section 10.7 Certificate
  • Land and Title Search
  • BASIX Certificate
  • Owner Builder Permit
  • Stamped Design (Plans) by a certifier
  • Stamped Engineering drawings by a certifier
  • CDC or DA Certificate
  • Construction Certificate (CC)
  • Approval from your water supplier – i.e. a Section 50 Certificate
  • Waterproofing Certificate
  • Occupation Certificate (OC)

 

Today I will talk about why you need these certificates.

 

I will discuss whether someone else can get them for you, and the legalities of them.

 

Plus cover what happens if you fail to get them and what it means regarding any future insurance claims.

 

Why Do You Need These Certificates?

 

Each Certificate has their own purpose, so let’s go through them all individually.

 

Please note that these may vary between states – I am from NSW so am only talking about what we need here. The process is very similar for other States however.

 

If you need further help with you specific State, see these posts below:

 

 

Getting your plans right requires some preparation

 

Firstly, you will need a Section 10.7 Certificate.

 

Section 10.7 Certificate

 

In NSW there are two types of these Certificates:

 

 

Both give you information on whether:

 

  • Any planning documents or controls that apply to your land, including:
  • State and community environmental planning policies.
  • Zoning regulations.
  • Development control and contribution plans.
  • Any hazards or restrictions that apply to your land, such as:
  • Bushfire zones.
  • Flooding.
  • Soil contamination.
  • Mining subsidence.
  • Heritage / conservation areas.
  • Landslip, etc.
  • Your land is susceptible to any road widening or realignment projects.
  • Any orders have been served from the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006.
  • The Council is aware of any proposed developments on your land, such as:
  • Site compatibility certificates for old-peoples homes, infrastructure, or affordable rental houses.

 

While both the Basic and Full Certificate provide a lot of information, a Full one also:

 

  • Describes any other issues Council is aware of that impact your land, such as:
  • If there are any nearby major roadworks or if within a rail corridor.
  • Vegetation controls or a Tree Preservation Order.
  • If any loose-fill asbestos insulation has been identified within the Councils’ precinct.

 

This knowledge could prevent unexpected costs being added to your development.

 

Most importantly, the Section 10.7 Certificate checks for your compliance with the SEPP.

 

So, you know whether you can gain approval through Complying Development (CDC) or need full Development Approval (DA).

 

Land and Title Search

 

You will need a Land and Title Search. This is to firstly confirm the boundaries of your land and also is required by council or your private certifier before they issue you a construction certificate.

 

This is relatively inexpensive and can be sourced online.

 

BASIX Certificate

 

Next, you will need a BASIX Certificate – this is a planning measure that applies to all granny flats over $50 000.

 

The Certificate states you are complying with environmental issues, i.e. the insulation and hot water system you must use will be mentioned in this certificate/report.

 

Based on other key factors of your design (the “sustainability commitments”), including the;

  • Floorspace
  • Size
  • Location, and
  • Type of windows,

Then BASIX estimates the;

  • Water and energy that you will use, and
  • Your thermal efficiency.

 

If you don’t meet the objectives of BASIX, you won’t be issued a Certificate, which must be submitted with your DA/CDC.

 

Owner Builder Permit

 

You will have to have passed an owner builder course. Either online or with an approved company in person. To find out the steps to take including what a “white card” is and how to get one. See this post about building a granny flat.

 

Stamped Design Plans

 

You can use a draftsperson or an architect for your granny flat plans. Which ever you use to create construction ready plans, they will need to be inspected by a certifier.

 

Once passed and given the “tick of approval” they will be stamped and you will need to keep a record of them as well.

 

Stamped Engineering Plans

 

Just like an architect will create plans for you. You will also need an engineer to come on site for soil tests and to confirm the foundation of your granny flat.

 

This report will include the strength of concrete required or the spanning between piers.

 

This documentation given to you by your engineer will need to be approved and stamped as well.

 

CDC or DA Certification

 

You can build a granny flat in 2 ways:

 

 

Which ever you choose to use, without one of these; you won’t be able to build legally.

 

Construction Certificate

 

Once all the above certificates have all be gathered, you will then be issued with a construction certificate.

 

This is an indication from your certifier that you are ok to start building.

 

Approval from your water supplier

 

You must also get the appropriate approval through your water company, i.e. Sydney Water or Hunter Water.

 

Every new development requires examination to see:

 

  • The affect the construction will have on water and sewerage systems, and
  • If new work is required to supply further water and sewerage systems.

 

For example, those within the Hunter Water area will need a Section 50 Certificate.

 

A Section 50 Certificate confirms they can sufficiently supply your granny flat with access to their water and sewer network.

 

Your private/Council certifier may require this before they provide you with the final tick of approval.

 

By now, you may have been granted approval by Council. However, before any building work starts, you must get a Construction Certificate (CC). (As mentioned above)

 

The purpose of a CC is to ensure your proposed development is compliant with your plans.

 

Waterproofing Certificate

 

This is required by council to confirm a licensed waterproofer has carried out the necessary water proofing for the bathroom and laundry area of your granny flat.

 

Occupation Certificate

 

Once building is complete, there is one final Certificate.

 

The Occupation Certificate (OC) must be arranged before moving into your granny flat.

 

Issued by your certifier, an OC states that your building is safe and suitable for occupants.

 

Can Someone Do the Work for You to Get These?

 

If using a building company, to start with they will generally require a copy of your:

 

 

Then many will prepare and lodge all the applications necessary for your DA/CDC.

 

If doing the building work yourself, there are times when you will still need to enlist the assistance of professionals.

 

When doing so, it is part of their job to supply you with a Certificate (if you have met all necessary regulations) for parts they will help you with.

 

To clarify:

 

  • Section 10.7 Certificate – You must get a copy of this – it is best if you know of all the restrictions on your property.
  • BASIX Certificate – A professional (i.e. an architect or drafts-person) does this once they have finished your design drawings.
  • A sewer diagram is different from approval from your water supplier. A sewer diagram assists you in locating your:
  • Water companies’ pipes.
  • Private sewer pipes on your land, and
  • Point of connection to the companies’ wastewater system.

 

As mentioned, it is up to you to provide a copy of this to your builder, so they know where they can build on your land. By doing so, your builder can now also gain approval from your water company – i.e. a Section 50 Certificate or similar.

 

How Can You Get These Certificates

 

Section 10.7 Certificates are issued by local Councils, and you can either:

 

  • Contact them over the Counter, or
  • Phone and ask them to fax a copy.

 

BASIX Certificate is acquired online by completing the sustainability assessment for your development.

 

Typically a professional, (i.e. an architect or drafts-person) does this once they have done detailed drawings of a design to suit your block.

 

If your design meets the BASIX requirements, you pay a fee and your Certificate will be issued electronically.

 

You can get a Sewer Diagram from a Reece Plumbing outlet.

 

To gain approval from your water company, visit the applicable website.

 

Your Council or private certifier can issue a Construction Certificate (CC).

 

You can find a registered certifier online, or you can contact your local Council.

 

If you applied for approval through a DA, you were issued your CC after the certifier visited the first time.

 

If you were given approval to build your granny flat through a CDC, the CC was issued then.

 

When you finish your granny flat, the certifier will visit again. This is a final check to ensure you followed your initial plans.

 

If your certifier is happy you completed everything safely, they will issue you with your Occupation Certificate (OC).

 

Will This Make Your Granny Flat Legal?

 

If follow the approval process and get every Certificate, down to the final tick of approval (an Occupation Certificate), then:

 

  • Your granny flat is a legally approved building!

 

The OC is the most important part of making your granny flat legal, as it:

 

 

Unfortunately, after the introduction of SEPP, it was often forgotten. So, you must remember to obtain your OC within 5 years after the DA/CDC.

 

What Happens if You Fail to Get Any of These Certificates

 

If you do not get these Certificates, you are not getting the proper approval for your granny flat, thus not meeting all legal requirements.

 

The pitfalls of this can be seen in my article about unapproved granny flats.

 

To sum them up, your Council has authority to:

 

  • Accuse you of partaking in fraudulent behaviour, issuing large fines.
  • Instruct you to demolish the granny flat.

 

Do You Need Certificates for Warranty Claims or Insurance Claims?

 

A great builder will have a Home Owners Warranty as part of their contract, which will cover you when the:

 

  • Contracted building work is unfinished or faulty.
  • Builder died, disappeared, or become bankrupt during construction.
  • Builder doesn’t reply to a rectification order within 30 days.

 

The cover lasts:

 

  • 6 years for structural flaws, and
  • 2 years for non-structural flaws,

 

After construction is completed or the contract is terminated.

 

Check your contract for this, as, upon signing the contract, you should be provided a copy of your Home Owners Warranty certificate. If building yourself, Owner-Builder warranty is no longer available in NSW. As an owner-builder, you are guaranteeing the work you undertake.

 

However, it is a wise idea to invest in a form of insurance both whilst constructing and once building is complete.

 

These details can be seen on my article about secondary dwelling insurance.

 

Conclusion

 

There are various Certificates required whilst building a granny flat:

 

  • Section 10.7 Certificate
  • BASIX Certificate
  • Approval from your water supplier – i.e. a Section 50 Certificate
  • Construction Certificate (CC)

 

Finally, before moving in, an Occupation Certificate (OC).

 

Please note these might vary between states – I have discussed what is required in NSW.

 

It is important to get these Certificates, as it means you are getting the proper approval for your granny flat.

 

So, with these Certificates and Council approval, your granny flat is a legal structure.