Mine Subsidence blog 23/09/2019
Abolition of Section 15 Certificates/Changes to certification prompt homeowners in mine subsidence districts to explore title insurance
Subsidence Advisory NSW (SA NSW) will cease issuing Certificates of Compliance under s15B of the Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 1961
from 30 September 2019. In the absence of these certificates, property owners and purchasers may consider title insurance to help protect against the risk of unapproved structures on a property in a mine subsidence district: https://www.subsidenceadvisory.nsw.gov.au/buying-property
How has the law changed?
The Coal Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 2017 (‘the Act’) was enacted on 1 January 2018 and repeals the Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 1961. Transitional arrangements for s15B Certificates will cease under the Act on 30 September 2019.
As of 1 October 2019, property purchasers can no longer obtain s15B certificates from SA NSW to confirm whether existing structures on a property comply with SA NSW development approval requirements and are eligible for compensation through SA NSW should subsidence damage occur.
How would I know if a property is within a mine subsidence district?
Search the NSW Planning Portal online or request a zoning certificate from your local Council.
Ownership risks for properties in mine subsidence districts
Mine subsidence is movement of the ground, including vibrations and other movement, due to the extraction of coal from underground mines. Mine subsidence can lead to damage to structures on a property. SA NSW oversees the compensation scheme for property damage due to mine subsidence.
Eligibility for compensation through SA NSW for property damage due to mine subsidence
If mine subsidence occurs, it is possible to make a claim for the damage with SA NSW.
Structures built in accordance with SA NSW development approval requirements in Mine Subsidence Districts are eligible for compensation for mine subsidence damage.
SA NSW will discretionally consider compensation for mine subsidence damage where the failure to obtain approval was not the fault of the claimant or where exceptional circumstances exist.
Two levels of approval required for building works in mine subsidence districts
Structures in NSW mine subsidence districts require building approval from:
1. SA NSW; and
2. the Council.
It is possible that a structure has not gone through the two-tier approval required.
If the damaged structure is unapproved, SA NSW may refuse a compensation claim in whole or part. In addition, the Council might issue a Building Order for the unapproved building works.
Obtaining First Title insurance cover for unapproved building works could provide additional comfort to purchasers and owners of property in NSW mine subsidence districts.
We can help! First Title cover for unknown unapproved structures
Although we do not provide cover for property damage or mine subsidence, we do provide cover for unknown unapproved building works where your local Council issues an order to repair or demolish any unapproved building works.
Check out the Important Information on First Title’s Home Owners GOLD policy.
Any questions? Call the First Title team on 1300 362 178.