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Strata Building Bond lodgement

Under the Strata Building Bond and Inspections Scheme, the strata building bond is to be lodged with NSW Fair Trading before an application is made for the Occupation Certificate. This is lodged via the NSW Planning Portal.

Before you lodge the building bond you will need to provide some basic information about your project, including the related determined approval and construction certificate, and contact information for the developer and builder. We recommend that you have this information on hand when completing your application.

How to apply online

The steps you will need to follow are outlined below. Please expand each step to see additional information.

Step 1: Register an Applicant Planning Portal account

You must create separate Applicant and Developer accounts with unique email addresses. In the future, we are looking into providing the ability for you to have multi-roles within the NSW Planning Portal.

Note: If you lodged the Development Application related to this project through the NSW Planning Portal, then you would have already completed this step.

The below Quick Reference Guide outlines the Planning Portal account registration process.

View the Guide

Step 2: Register a Developer Planning Portal account

You must create separate Applicant and Developer accounts with unique email addresses. In the future, we are looking into providing the ability for you to have multi-roles within the NSW Planning Portal.

Ensure that the email address used for this account is the same as the one input for the developer details in the application to appoint a Principal Certifier. This will ensure that you receive email notifications when the application progresses.

The below Quick Reference Guide outlines the Planning Portal account registration process.

View the Guide

Step 3: Appoint a Principal Certifier

Before you start any approved building or construction work, you must appoint either the relevant local council or a licensed independent party as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA).  Your PCA must be registered in the NSW Planning Portal before you can nominate them in the system.

Note: If you lodged the Development Application related to this project through the NSW Planning Portal, you will have already completed this step.

The below Quick Reference Guide outlines how to appoint a Principal Certifier through the Planning Portal. 

View the Guide

Once the Principal Certifier accepts the nomination, an email will be sent to the developer listed within the application to prompt them to upload the Issued for Construction (IFC) documents.

Step 4: Upload the Issued for Construction documents

As a property developer, you will be responsible for uploading the Issued for Construction documents once your Principal Certifier has been appointed. You will receive an email to notify you when this has occurred, or you can check the status of the application on your dashboard when you log into the associated applicant Planning Portal account.

This step is normally carried out before you start construction. But for projects retrospectively being entered into the NSW Planning Portal, you need to upload the latest set of designs you used to construct the building.

Once the documentation has been uploaded, an email notification will be sent to initiate the Intent to seek an Occupation Certificate.

The below Quick Reference Guide outlines how to upload Issued for Construction documents.

View the Guide

Step 5: Initiate your Intent to Seek an Occupation Certificate

This step is to be carried out at least six months prior to the completion of your development. By initiating your intent to seek an Occupation Certificate, you also notify NSW Fair Trading of the Expected Completion Notice i.e. the estimated completion date of construction.

You can also register any amendments to the original estimated completion date by completing an Amendment Notice through the NSW Planning Portal.

The below Quick Reference Guides outline how to advise your intent to seek an Occupation Certificate and how to complete an Amendment notice via the Planning Portal.

View the Guide

Step 6: Upload your as-built documents

Before you lodge a strata building bond, you need to upload your as-built documents through the Planning Portal. These are the set of design documents that reflect what was built.

The below Quick Reference Guide outlines how to upload your as-built documents via the Planning Portal.

View the Guide

Step 7: Initiate your Strata Building Bond

The developer is responsible for obtaining the strata building bond and lodging it with the Secretary (NSW Fair Trading). More information can be found here on what information is required.

The building bond can be a bank guarantee or ‘bond’ and should not be issued until NSW Fair Trading has agreed the value of the contract price with you.

Once you have entered and submitted your project information, paid the strata building bond lodgement fee and uploaded the additional documents via the Planning Portal, the Strata Building Bond and Inspection Scheme team at NSW Fair Trading will review your application.

The below Quick Reference Guide outlines how to Initiate the Strata Bond.

View the Guide

Step 8: Respond to an Additional Information Request

Note: You only need to do this step if the Strata Building Bond and Inspection Scheme team or the OC Audit team have requested more information and you have received an email notification.

The below Quick Reference Guide outlines how to Respond to an Additional Information Request

View the Guide

Step 9: Enter your final Strata Bond contract amount

Once a mutual agreement on the contract price and building bond value has been agreed, you should arrange for the building bond to be obtained. The Strata Building Bond and Inspection Scheme team will notify you that the building bond lodgement has been approved.

The building bond can be a bank guarantee or ‘bond’ and must contain the reference number issued by the NSW Planning Portal. This reference number will be in the following format: SB-2020-##. More information can be found here on where to send the physical building bond.

At this stage you will need to enter the final contract price, bond amount and the bond issuer into the Planning Portal.

The below Quick Reference Guide outlines how to Enter your final Strata Bond contract amount

View the Guide

Next steps

If you have selected strata management as part of your Intention to seek an Occupation Certificate request, the application will now be reviewed by the Strata Building Bond, and the OC Audit teams.

During this review your project may be selected for an Occupation Certificate (OC) Audit. The OC Audit will be carried out by inspectors from the Department of Customer Service. The audit involves a review of designs and documents (including contracts) for building work, as well as a physical inspection.

If you have been notified that your project has been selected for an OC Audit, you may be instructed to upload additional documentation into the NSW Planning Portal for review by the inspectors.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment by the Strata Building Bond and OC Audit teams (if relevant), you may be able to apply for an Occupation Certificate via the NSW Planning Portal. For more information, please visit the Occupation Certificate page on the Portal.

Alternatively, you may need to commence a new application once the identified concerns are addressed.