Building searches | Brisbane City Council

Building searches

""Building searches can provide written advice about Approved Building Applications.

Building searches do not include information on pool fences. For information about pool fencing, visit pool fencing and safety regulations.

Types of building searches

There are five types of building searches. Fees apply to each type of building search.

Building records search Lists details of all approved building permits/applications for a property from 1946. Details include building application number, description of proposed building work and date of approval. It does not include copies of any building plans or documents.

Find out about applying for copies of building plans or documents.

Building inspections search Indicates whether Council has a record of required building inspections/final inspection (final approval) carried out on an approved Building Application during construction. Does not include copies of any building plans or documents.

Records for domestic premises have been kept since 1987 and records for commercial or multiple dwelling premises have been kept since 1976.

It is important to nominate the specific building approval you want, e.g. deck or verandah, carport, pool or shed, as a fee applies to each building approval selected.

Certificate of classification

Determines if a Certificate of Classification has been issued for a commercial or multiple dwelling premises. If issued, you will receive a photocopy. If not, Council will advise you accordingly. Certificates of Classification apply to commercial or multiple dwelling building approvals approved after 1 April 1976 with the introduction of the Building Act.

Property notices Indicates details of any outstanding property notices issued in accordance with the Building Act 1975.
Letter of information Lists details of a building approval. The details are limited to the names of the builder, architect, engineer and private certifier (if applicable), termite certificates (if available) and estimated building cost.

Find out about applying for copies of building plans or documents.

Fees and time to process

Council provides two levels of processing for building searches. These levels offer a standard and a fast track service. Different fees apply for each search.

Council endeavours to process these different level of searches for:

  • standard search - 10 business days after the date of lodgement
  • fast track search - three business days after the date of lodgement

You cannot fast track individual components of the search. All search components will be fast tracked. 

How to lodge

You can lodge a building search online and pay with credit card.

Alternatively you can download the Building section search application (PDF - 75kb).

To lodge the application form you can:

  • visit Council and make payment in person
  • mail the application with a cheque to:

    Brisbane City Council
    GPO Box 1434
    Brisbane Qld 4001

Unapproved structures

A property may have an extension or alteration that does not appear on the building search. Ask your solicitor to discuss the issue with the vendor. An option is to insist on the extension or alteration being approved as part of the sale conditions. The property owner will then need to organise approval via a building certifier.

17 October 2018