Building searches

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

Building searches do not include information on pool fences. For more information about pool fencing you can 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 This 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 This search indicates whether or not Council has record of required building inspections / final inspection (final approval) carried out on an approved Building Application during construction. It 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, for example, deck or verandah, carport, pool or shed, as a fee applies to each building approval selected.

Certificate of Classification

This search will determine if a Certificate of Classification has been issued for a commercial or multiple dwelling premises. If one has been issued, a photocopy will be supplied. If one has not, you will be advised 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 This search indicates details of any outstanding property notices issued in accordance with the Building Act 1975.
Letter of Information This search lists details for a building approval and is limited to the builder's name, architect's name, engineer's name, termite certificates (if available), private certifier's name (if applicable) 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 of these searches.

Council endeavours to process these different level of searches within:

  • 10 business days after the date of lodgement for standard searches
  • 3 business days after the date of lodgement for fast track searches

If you choose to Fast Track, you cannot Fast Track individual components of the search. All search components must be fast tracked. 

How to lodge

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

Some documents on this page need Adobe Reader to view or print them. You can download Adobe Reader for free.

Alternatively you can download the Building section search application - CA392 (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

If you find that the property has 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.

20 October 2015