Illegal and unsafe buildings

Council is responsible for ensuring the built environment is safe. This includes investigating unsafe or illegal buildings and issuing the appropriate Notice or Order to resolve any issues.

Unsafe buildings

Time, weather, a natural disaster or an accident can render a building unsafe. Council will inspect the works to determine the issue and will work with the owner to repair or demolish the building to make it safe.

Illegal building works

Illegal building is when a building permit is not issued for construction works that should have a permit.

Carrying out works without a permit can compromise the safety of occupants and cause problems with insurance, re-selling and other legal matters.

A Building Permit cannot be issued retrospectively for the works already carried out, therefore you cannot obtain an Occupancy Permit or Final Certificate to say the works are compliant.

It often costs more to resolve illegal building issues than to get a Building Permit before starting work. Administration fees, structural investigations, engineer reports and building reports may be required to investigate a complaint, making it an expensive process.

Reporting an unsafe building or illegal building works

While many people feel uncomfortable reporting unsafe buildings, or construction that’s occurring without a building permit, it is important to notify Council. We can work with the owners to ensure issues are resolved and building safety for occupiers or users is not compromised.

Once it has been determined there is an issue, Council will begin the appropriate enforcement and work with the owner to try and resolve the problem with a favourable outcome to all parties involved.

Please be assured any complaints or queries remain anonymous and your details are not provided to property owners.

You can report an instance of illegal or unsafe building to Council's Buildings Team at For urgent issues, or to discuss the matter, please contact them on (03) 5348 2306.

Building permits issued by a private building surveyor

Where works are issued by a private surveyor, any issues relating to those works should be referred to the relevant surveyor or the Victorian Building Authority.