City of Gold Coast

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Buying, selling & searches

If you’re looking to buy or sell property on the Gold Coast, there are number of useful resources available to assist with gathering a variety of property information.

See Researching a property for details of the resources available to assist you with your research.

See Moving house for details about the many things that need to be done when leaving a property and moving into a new one.

Searches

City of Gold Coast keeps a record of every parcel of rateable land within its boundaries. Written search reports are created by generating and extracting specific data relevant to a particular property from our property systems and are accurate at the time of data extraction.

Search types

Please select from the drop-down headings below for details about the different types of searches and requests for copies of plans available.

Rates and water searches

The following rates and water searches are available.

Rates and water

This is an inspection of records only (quotes not applicable). Particulars are supplied as at the date the rate book is inspected. A reading of the water meter (if connected) is supplied as part of this search.

Special water meter reading

Water meter reading only.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Planning and development certificates

City of Gold Coast provides limited, standard and full planning and development certificates (PDC) in accordance with the requirements of section 265 of the Planning Act 2016 and schedule 23 of the Planning Regulation 2017.

We also provide standard and full town planning certificates in accordance with the requirements of section 18Q, schedule 2 of the Local Government (Robina Central Planning Agreement) Act 1992 (RCPA).

PDCs provide potential property owners, lawyers and property developers with information about planning scheme provisions, infrastructure charges or agreements and development approvals for specific premises.

For all limited, standard and full planning and development certificates on land valued $1,000,000 and above that contains only a single detached dwelling, the fee charged will be in accordance with the fee for limited, standard and full planning and development certificates for land valued under $1,000,000 (this applies to all properties identified under the Planning Act 2016 (Planning Act) and the Local Government (Robina Central Planning Agreement) Act 1992 (RCPA).

If you are uncertain of the current land value of the property you are requesting a limited, standard or full planning and development certificate over, please review the property valuation on the Queensland Government's Land Valuation website. Alternatively, contact our planning and development certificates team on 07 5582 8319 or email planningsearches@goldcoast.qld.gov.au to determine the correct fees payable prior to lodgement. Should you lodge a planning and development certificate request with the incorrect fee, your certificate request will be placed on hold until the correct fees have been paid and receipted.

Limited PDC: contains a summary of the provisions of any planning scheme or charges resolution applying specifically to the premises, the way in which an applicable temporary local planning instrument suspends or otherwise affects the operation of a planning scheme provision, the way in which any variation approval in effect for the premises varies the effect of a planning scheme provision, a copy of any information recorded for the premises in the infrastructure charges register, a description of any State planning instrument applying to the premises and a description of any designations applying to the premises. A limited PDC does not provide any information regarding development approvals that are applicable to the particular premises.

Standard PDC: contains all the information contained within a limited PDC. A standard PDC also contains: a copy of every decision notice or negotiated decision notice for a development approval in effect for the premises; details of any changes made to the development approval or of any approval given to extend the currency period of a development approval in effect for the premises, a copy of any deemed approval notice relating to the premises (where the development approval has not lapsed); a copy of every continuing approval mentioned in Section 6.1.23(1)(a) to (d) of the repealed IPA; details of any decision to approve or refuse an application to amend a planning scheme made under s4.3 of the repealed Local Government (Planning & Environment) Act 1990 (e.g. rezoning application); a copy of every compliance certificate in effect at the time the standard PDC is given, a copy of any effective exemption certificates for development on the premises; a copy of each master plan applying to the premises, a copy of any judgment or order of the Planning and Environment Court or a tribunal about a development approval, a copy of any agreement to which the local government or a referral agency is a party about a condition of the development approval and a copy of any infrastructure agreement applying to the premises to which the local government is a party, a description of each amendment proposed to be made by the local government to its planning scheme, that has not yet been made at the time the certificate is given. A standard PDC does not provide any information regarding the compliance or fulfilment of development conditions.

Full Certificate: contains the information required to be contained in a limited and standard PDC. A full PDC also contains: a statement about the fulfilment or non-fulfilment of each condition of relevant approval currently in force, at a stated day (after the certificate was applied for); details of the nature and extent of any obligations under any infrastructure agreements to which the local government is a party which have not been fulfilled and details of any securities; and advice of any prosecution or proceedings for a prosecution for a development offence in relation to the premises that the local government is aware of. The access details section must be completed.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Building records

The following types of building records are available:

Extract of building details

This is a written report on all building applications on the property for residential or commercial structures, amendments, additions, alterations, swimming pools and encumbrances. The report includes the following information for each building application, but it does not include siting variation applications or copies of approved plans or documentation.

  • name of the builder
  • name of the plumber
  • name of the private certifier
  • description of the works and the BCA class
  • the application number
  • the date the approval was given
  • types and dates of inspections and the name of the entity who carried out the inspection.

The fee covers four (4) building applications only. Any additional building applications are charged at a unit fee per additional building application and a quotation will be sent to the applicant.

  • Residential (Building Codes of Australia Class 1a and 10) – allow approximately 10 business days.
  • Commercial (Building Codes of Australia Class 1b to 9) – allow approximately 20 business days. If only one unit in the building is required, then the residential fee applies.

Building compliance inspection and report

This search includes a site inspection by a City officer and a written report regarding the compliance of all structures on the property in accordance with the building approval. The report does not include details of building applications or previous inspections of structures on the property. This is not a building and pest inspection, or a final inspection for the structures on the property, and no compliance documentation will be issued.

The fee covers four (4) building applications only. Any additional building applications are charged at a unit fee per additional building application and a quotation will be sent to the applicant.

  • Residential (Building Codes of Australia Class 1a and 10) – allow approximately 10 business days.
  • Commercial (Building Codes of Australia Class 1b to 9) – allow approximately 28 business days. If only one unit in the building is required, then the residential fee applies.

Certificate of Classification

This search provides a copy of the original Certificate of Classification issued for Class 1b to 9 buildings constructed after 1975 describing the Building Codes of Australia classification and the approved use of the building.

If more than one Certificate of Classification has been issued, a quotation for additional fees will be sent to the applicant. Refer to the building classification codes for further information.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Request for property information

This search provides details of a building approval and the response is in the form of a letter to the applicant and are generally completed in 10 business days.

Please specify the structure you are requesting the information for e.g. house, patio, shed, pool.

Then select the type/s of information you require about the structure e.g. approval date, commencement date, completion date, construction cost, builder’s details. If you don’t require a response in writing, you may find some of this information on our PD Online service free of charge.

If you require over three (3) items, please pay the additional fee per extra item.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Building plans

General information:

  • Residential requests will be available within approximately 10 working days, unless subject to a quotation. Plans may not be available for structures over 10 years old.
  • Commercial or large requests will be available in approximately 20 working days, unless subject to a quotation (Multi-unit buildings, shopping centres, hotels, hospitals, factories, etc.), and are available for the life of the building if constructed after 1975.
  • If more than five (5) sheets are required, then a quotation at a unit fee per additional sheet will be forwarded to the applicant.
  • Plans are not to scale.
  • All documents are the property of Council and copies are released at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer.

Eligibility:

  • Applicants can obtain copies of various building plans, except for floor plans, without the registered owner’s consent.
  • If the applicant is not the owner, the owner must either complete the “Owners Authority” section of the form or attach a letter of authority from the owner to this application. If settlement has occurred recently, then a settlement letter from the applicant’s solicitor must be attached to the application. A contract of sale is not acceptable.
  • If the applicant is a corporation (including a company or body corporate), an authorised officer of the corporation (e.g. a company director, body corporate chairman/secretary) must provide a letter of authority and attach to the application.
  • If the property owner is a corporation (including a company or body corporate), an authorised officer of the corporation (e.g. a company director, body corporate chairman/secretary) must provide a letter of authority and attach to the application.

Plan type descriptions (Plans are not to scale):

  • Architectural (site plan, floor plan, elevations) - The site plan shows the location of the building/s on the property, the floor plan shows the layout of rooms in the building/s and the dimensions of each room, the elevations show the external aspects (front, side, rear) of the building/s.
  • Structural (footing, slab, frame/bracing) - Structural drawings are prepared by a structural engineer and show the design of the footings, slab and framing of the building.
  • Site plan - The original site plan shows the outline of the house as it is situated on the block of land and is the original plan submitted to the City. It will not reflect any additions or alterations that have been constructed on the property since this plan was submitted. The most recent site plan should show the outline of the house (may be partial) as it is situated on the land and will show any subsequent additions or alterations to the house, if submitted to the City. The site plan is not a survey plan. Please go to the Queensland Government website to obtain a copy of a survey plan.
  • Termite/pest treatment certificate - The termite/pest treatment certificate shows the method of termite/pest treatment carried out to the land prior to the laying of the footings/slab.
  • Soil/engineers report - The soil/engineers report is provided when testing the soil to see how deep footings should be sunk, or the load bearing capacity of the soil itself (only available for buildings constructed after 1989).

For further information please us 07 5667 5978.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

House drainage plans

Residential house drainage plans may not include any water system and will not include any stormwater drainage information.

For any further enquiries, please contact Plumbing and Drainage on 07 5667 5977.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Health inspections

If you are looking at buying an existing business that is licensed, you may wish to apply for a Health Search to check the current level of compliance. It is not a mandatory requirement, however is very helpful when considering purchasing a business. From the date the application is made, it takes 10 business days to complete.

The report will cover all licensable activities associated with the business and provide information on the current condition including any defects within the premises.

Full details of the business, e.g. trading name, shop number etc., as well as access details are required.

For larger premises, e.g. resorts, theme parks, you should contact our Licensing and Approvals Section on 07 5667 5987 regarding a quote for the fee of conducting the inspections.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Trade waste searches

Trade waste searches are recommended when purchasing a commercial property or business that will generate trade waste.

The search is conducted by a trade waste officer and details findings in relation to existing pre-treatment devices in a Trade Waste Inspection report.

  • The findings of the inspection will confirm the number and size of pre-treatment devices and that these are appropriately sized for the kitchen fit outs/existing facilities at the time of the inspection.
  • The condition, age and the management of such pre-treatment devices.
  • If the pre-treatment devices are over eight (8) years old, whether the City of Gold Coast has requested an audit of the pre-treatment devices, and the outcome of the audit.
  • If there have been special conditions placed on the existing property/business's 'Terms and conditions' regarding the pre-treatment devices.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Mapping searches

The following types of map and plan searches are available:

Flood information

A flood level search report can be obtained for a property. It summarises available flood information on the property like estimated designated flood level (for determining floor levels) and ground level at the centre of the property. However, it does not show the flood extent.

View information on flood extent and general flood information on Managing flood on the Gold Coast.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

SIS location diagram

This search can provide estimated information where available on:

Property boundaries, street names, street numbers, lot and Plan information, house sewer connection points, City of Gold Coast sewer infrastructure, private sewer facility, City stormwater infrastructure, fibre optics, and other known underground services available.

Easements over internal infrastructure may not be included on mapping.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Infrastructure drawings sewerage

If you’re planning a development, you need a property sewerage infrastructure drawing (if available) to show the City’s sewerage assets that are on or near your property. This plan is important when planning the location of a building on a property so that restrictions relating to building above or near a sewer asset are adhered to.

Our advice includes the location of the City’s sewerage mains, manholes and connection points, surface levels, infrastructure size and depth and invert levels. The information is specific to the parcel of land and does not normally show easements over the property.

Details of the property owner’s plumbing and drainage are not provided in these results.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Land structural – Canal and waterway setback / foreshore seawall (boulder wall on beachfront properties)

Building setbacks refer to the distance from the property boundary to the outermost projection of the structure. The City Plan makes provisions for setbacks depending on whether the application is self assessable, code or impact assessable. For further information on buildings setbacks, contact the Planning Enquiries Centre on 07 5582 8708.

The response to a request for Canal and waterway setback measurement is in the form of a letter containing the setback measurement.

The response to a request for Foreshore seawall (boulder wall for beachfront properties) measurement is in the form of a section of the Coastal erosion hazard overlay map (SC2.6) and, if available, a copy of the Engineer’s certification for the wall for the subject property.

For more information, please refer to Building setbacksPD Online or City Plan interactive mapping.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Landslip map

This is a colour-coded map based on a broad-scale landslide hazard assessment for the City of Gold Coast. This map classifies the Gold Coast City areas into five landslide hazard categories: very low, low, moderate, high, and very high. City of Gold Coast will generally require a satisfactory site-specific geotechnical stability assessment report for any proposed development on land identified with a moderate or higher hazard rating.

These maps can also be obtained freely from PD Online or City Plan interactive mapping.

Find a link to the Search Request form below.

Bushfire map

For bushfire maps, the information can be obtained freely from PD Online or City Plan interactive mapping.

Land use enquiry

The land use enquiry should not be relied upon for the purpose of making decisions with legal and/or financial implications.

For further information regarding development of the premises, it is recommended that you obtain a limited, standard or full planning and development certificate, and consult an independent planning consultant.

Outlined below are the three types of land use enquiries available:

Motor dealers licence

This enquiry provides:

  • A letter from the City to be used for the purposes of obtaining a motor dealers licence from the Office of Fair Trading.

This enquiry does not provide:

  • An assessment of compliance with any relevant required outcomes or assessment benchmarks under the City Plan.
  • The category of development and assessment of other forms of development (that is reconfiguration of a lot, operational work, building work and plumbing and drainage work).

Liquor licence

This enquiry provides:

  • A letter from the City to be used for the purposes of obtaining a Liquor Licence from the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.

This enquiry does not provide:

  • an assessment of compliance with relevant required outcomes or assessment benchmarks under the City Plan.
  • the category of development and assessment of other forms of development (i.e. reconfiguration of a lot, operational work, building work, and plumbing and drainage work).

General

Please note that the land use enquiry is intended for residential based land uses only. Should your proposal be for commercial based land use/s, one or all of the following options should be used:

  • contact the City's Planning Enquiries Centre to discuss category of development and assessment for a material change of use for the proposed use on 07 5582 8708.
  • submit an application for a City letter confirming accepted development status
  • obtain a limited, standard or full planning and development certificate by lodging a search request form and consult an independent planning consultant.

This enquiry provides:

  • the zone or precinct within which the premises is located
  • the use definition (residential land uses only) under the City Plan for the proposed use
  • the category of development and assessment for a material change of use for the proposed use based on Part 5 Tables of Assessment for the relevant zone or precinct within which the premises is located only.

This enquiry does not provide:

  • details of historical and/or existing use rights for the premises
  • an assessment of compliance with any required outcomes or assessment benchmarks under the City Plan
  • the category of development and assessment of other forms of development (that is reconfiguration of a lot, operational work, building work and plumbing and drainage work)
  • a definitive category of development and assessment for each proposed use. The land use enquiry only provides the category of development and assessment according to section 5.5 (categories of development and assessment – Material Change of Use) of the Tables of Assessment. The proposed use may fall into a higher category of development and assessment if the provisions of sections 5.6-5.10 of the Tables of Assessment are triggered.

Find the links to the land use enquiry forms below.

Request for copy of decision notice or plan of development

This request for information should not be relied upon for the purpose of making decisions with legal and/or financial implications. Should you require copies of ALL relevant approvals in regards to a particular subject site it is recommended you obtain a limited, standard or full planning and development certificate.

This request provides: one copy of a decision notice and associated approved plans (where applicable).

This request does not provide:

  • details of historical and/or existing use rights of the premises
  • an assessment of compliance with the approved plan requirements or any relevant approvals or City Plan provisions
  • a copy of any associated reports referred to in a decision notice or planning approval.

Find the link to the Search Request form below.

Glossary of rates searches City terms

Below is a brief overview of City terms used on completed search requests for rates searches.

Pending charges

A pending charge is a charge that has been calculated, but not yet billed/issued or charged to the rate account. Pending charges do not accrue any interest and will not be included in the current balance. These charges will appear on a future rate notice.

Account balance/current balance

The balance due on the account at the present date or any given date. Where accounts have arrears, interest is calculated to the first business day after settlement date to allow sufficient time for settlement proceeds to reach us. The balance does not include any pending charges. It is recommended that pending charges be added to the balance to ascertain the total amount outstanding.

Amount outstanding/rates position/settlement date

The balance due on the account at the given settlement date including any pending charges and any applicable interest on arrears. The 'Amount outstanding' is calculated based on the settlement date provided by the customer (or their solicitor). If settlement does not proceed on the date advised, please contact us on 1300 366 659 or 07 5667 5995 to obtain the correct amount outstanding to be paid at settlement.

Interest

The City charges interest on all overdue levies at a rate of 9.83 per cent per annum. Interest is charged until payment is made in full. It is calculated up to date of payment, compounding daily and charged monthly.

Net balance

Account balance due, inclusive of any discount for paying on or before the due date. This amount does not include pending charges.

Gross balance

Account balance due for payment after the due date, inclusive of any interest charges for late payment. Note that this figure will change daily, so it is essential that a specific payment date be provided so any pending interest can be calculated correctly. This amount does not include pending charges.

Last billable water read

The Last billable read is the previous reading taken of the water meter where the water consumption has been calculated and issued on a notice. The water meter is read four (4) times a year.

From 1 July 2014, the City has moved to billing water and sewerage charges (including consumption) on a quarterly basis.

Special water read

The 'Special water read' shown on the Water Search Report shows the actual reading taken of the water meter conducted specifically for this report. This reading is used to help calculate the amount of water consumption payable by the seller.

Lot entitlement

The 'Lot entitlement' refers to the property’s contribution schedule lot entitlement, as detailed in the community management statement (CMS) for a Community Titles Scheme. This determines how the amount of water consumption recorded for the complex is distributed amongst the individual owners.

Pending Unimproved Capital Valuations (UCV)

The general rate on a property is calculated using a set rate (which varies by category) and is determined by the unimproved capital value (UCV) for each property. The UCV is provided to the City by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. Once a new property/parcel is registered, the City must wait for the UCV before raising a general rate. Customers may encounter this situation when phoning for verbal rating information or it may be documented on their search that charges have not been raised yet due to a pending valuation.

How to lodge a search request

Please see Lodging a search request for information about how to lodge a search request.

Further information

For any further information, please contact us.

Related information

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