Building Surveyors – Working for you!

What we do 

When you consider that almost anything you want to build on your land needs a building permit, Building Surveyors play a bigger part in the building process than many consumers may realise.  There is a common misconception that a Building Surveyor is the person you may see from time to time on a building site or road; using a level.  That person is in fact a Land Surveyor.  Building Surveyors are involved in what their name implies – buildings.

The issuing of a building permit for a new home, an extension or a garage, is the responsibility of the Building Surveyor.  Whether the Building Surveyor is employed by your local council or operates in the private sector, this person holds a statutory position to issue building permits and to administer the Building Regulations under the Building Act.

Building Surveyors have a special role in the building process because they work in the interest of the owner/consumer and in the best interests of the community as a whole.  After the Building Surveyor has assessed the building plans – ensuring that they comply with building Regulations and Australian Standards – a building permit is issued to get the process started.

Once building work commences, the Building Surveyor remains involved throughout each stage, carrying out inspections or having a Building Inspector carry out the inspection on the Building Surveyor’s behalf before giving the work a stamp of approval.  In the case of building a new home, these inspections would be carried out prior to placing the footings, at the completion of the frame, and a final inspection before the occupancy permit issued to the owner.  Along the way, if an inspection is failed the Building Surveyor is authorised to take enforcement action, where necessary against the responsible party to ensure that the works are rectified and brought into compliance.

Building Surveyors need a tertiary qualification, must be insured and must be registered with the Building Practitioners Board.  If you are looking for a Building Surveyor check the Victorian Building Authority website in the “find a RBP” section or contact the Building Practitioners Board on 1300 360 320. 


Established Buildings

Building Surveyors can also carry out inspections of established buildings to determine their existing condition and the level of compliance with safety standards.  The building inspection is comprehensive and comprises an assessment of the building’s fabric including issues such as water tightness and structural adequacy.

The inspection could include all parts of the building that are easily accessible without having to move furniture, lift carpets, disturb the structure of the building or inspect areas where access is either difficult or dangerous.  It should be noted that the Building Surveyor’s domain is primarily structural integrity of a building; the onus of workmanship and quality of material and finishes is the responsibility of the builder and architect; if one is employed. Ask us if we can offer you assistance in this area.

Another role that a Building Surveyor may play is that of consultant.  In this role, the building surveyor will provide the design team with regulatory advice on construction issues.


Illegal Building Works

Where, for whatever reason illegal building work is in the process of being carried out, or has been undertaken, the owner of the property is solely responsible. It does not matter whether the owner does the works, engaged some other party to do the works, or purchased the property with existing illegal building works. In these instances, and where the Municipal Building Surveyor becomes aware of the situation he or she will commence legal enforcement against the owner/s.

Whilst a building permit cannot be issued retrospectively for the works Council may allow for the works to remain if the owners provide a report from a registered Building Surveyor and/or Engineer attesting to the regulatory and structural compliance of the works.

In these instances it is important to liaise with the Municipal Building Surveyor to ascertain what they require of you.  Tripleight can act as your agent in these instances by speaking to the Council and other authorities as necessary together with providing reports as necessary. Speak to us to see how we can help you.


A Building Surveyor can provide advice on:

  • Costs and the timetable to obtain the legal approvals required, ensuring that quality, time and cost requirements are met for a project.
  • The existing condition of a building.
  • The type and number of inspections required during construction of a project.
  • How to bring an existing building into compliance with safety standards.
  • Submit any additional required applications to other agencies and authorities.
  • Advise on legislative issues and answer any general questions you may have regarding your works.
  • Check off documentation for compliance with the Building Act, Building Regulations, Codes and Standards.
  • Issue a building permit, (or a report in lieu of a permit where building works have already been undertaken.)
  • Inspect building works.
  • Issue an occupancy permit or final certificate.


Municipal Building Surveyors

Building Surveyors at Council; usually referred to as the Municipal Building Surveyor also have a major role in community safety and regulatory enforcement. You will find this Surveyor involved in such issues as illegally constructed or occupied buildings, dangerous and unsafe structures, and even public entertainment events and building fires. 

  • Provide information about previous building works at your property.
  • Are responsible for community safety issues such as swimming pools and smoke alarms.
  • Respond to community complaints about building projects, and illegal and dangerous building structures.

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