What is it?
A building documentation search - sometimes called a building file search - is a search for building plans and documents for a specific site. Building plan documents may include:
- architectural and structural plans
- soil reports
- building permits
- occupancy permits
- certificates of final inspection
- warranty insurance certificates.
While we can search for documents, there is no guarantee they will be available.
With this in mind, we recommend talking to the Planning and Building Records team before you lodge an application. They will help you get an idea of what documents are available.
Who is it suitable for?
Documents from the searches detail the previous approvals and works carried out to a property. Building documentation searches are often requested by:
- home or property owners.
The application fee for a building documentation search is non-refundable. If you’re paying by card, a card payment fee applies.
|Residential dwelling (also includes certificates if selected)||$100|
|Apartments or Commercial property (also includes certificates if selected)||$360|
Most requests do not need high volumes of copying or scanning. Council reserves the right to apply additional charges if:
- a large number of copies or scans are requested
- plans are A3 or larger.
Before you apply
If you’re applying on behalf of a home or property owner, you’ll need to get their written consent.
Written consent requirements
1. The owner is a company, organisation, or corporation of a single property with no Owners Corporation.
The application must include a formal letter of consent. The letter needs to:
- be signed by a company director on the company's letterhead
- authorise the named applicant to access building permit records for the property
- include the company's contact details and ABN.
2. I am acting on behalf of multiple properties with an Owners Corporation. Or I am a lot owner in a complex of multiple properties with an Owners Corporation.
If you're acting on behalf of an Owners Corporation, you must provide signed written authorisation on their letterhead. Or provide a copy of the minutes appointing you to act on the Owners Corporation's behalf to access building permit records for the property.
3. The owner is an individual and also the applicant.
You’ll need to apply via My Port Phillip. Your application must provide proof of identification such as:
- a copy of your driver's licence
- a copy of an electricity bill
- an insurance policy
- phone bill issued with your name
- the address of the property.
4. The owner is an individual and is not the applicant.
You'll need to apply via My Port Phillip. Your application must include proof of identification of the owner, such as:
- a copy of their driver's licence
- an electricity bill
- an insurance policy
- a phone bill issued with their name
- The ID must show the property address.
Request for existing building permit approvals (Regulation 51)
This request provides certificates relating to:
- building permits
- property information as part of Regulation 51.
There are three parts to Regulation 51 requests:
Part 1: Building Permit details
A certificate with information relating to building permits issued in the previous 10 years. Plus, any outstanding notices and/or orders.
Part 2: Property Information
A certificate with information relating to termite and flood-prone areas.
Part 3: Dates of inspections
Details of inspections at mandatory notification stages during previous building works. These cover both the building and land.
You can request a search on My Port Phillip.
When you apply
You can apply for a building documentation search via My Port Phillip.
- Register or log in to My Port Phillip
- Add your address to your account details
- Select ‘apply for a permit'
- Scroll down until you find ‘Planning and Building Documentation Search’ and select ‘Start’
- In the drop-down select ‘Building File Search’
- To begin your application, start by entering the property address
Please note, incomplete applications without the required attachments will not be accepted.
After your application is received and lodged, you will be emailed a tax invoice.
After you apply
Searches are usually completed within 20 business days from the time of lodgement. Complex searches may take longer.
If many documents are available, we may contact you to arrange a viewing to select the items you need.
Help and support
If you need more information or a hardcopy form, please contact the Planning and Building Records team:
Online: My Port Phillip
Phone: 03 9209 6424
In person: visit the Planning and Building Counter at St Kilda Town Hall during opening hours (8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)