The importance of property searches

As a certification company, one of the first steps in assessing the building design is to identify the characteristics of a property by doing what we call “property searches”.

What are the property searches a certifier looks for?


The zoning of a property defines what type of development is permitted for a specific property or area.


Overlays are stipulated by Council and show the location and the extent of special features to a parcel of land.

The purpose of overlays is to identify areas that:

- Are sensitive to the effects of development

- Constrain land or development

- Are subject to valuable resources

- Present opportunities for development

Extract from Brisbane City Council website

There are different types of overlays: flooding, bushfire, traditional building character...

In their blog article “New Guidelines for Brisbane Character Homes”, Designer Planning explains why and how the traditional building character overlay can affect the development of a property


According to Urban Utilities, “an easement is a right attached to land, which gives another party the right to use the land for a specific purpose even though they are not the land owner”.

The main purpose of an easement is to allow Council to protect access, operate and maintain water and sewerage infrastructure that is in private land.

Council assets

Council assets include stormwater, sewer infrastructure and water supply pipes.

These characteristics can affect the building and design requirements of a property (such as building height, setback height above ground).

By identifying these searches at the start of the building process, BA&A can ensure the building design complies with local, State and National legislation.