What is a property search?
A property search is a type of service council provides that allows you to obtain information on your property. There are different types of property searches, depending on the type of information you are requesting.
Property rate information, certificates and report searches
Council provides several different services on the rate information for a property. These include:
- Standard Property Search: Provides information on a property such as rates information, property zoning, precinct and overlay information, trade waste information and infrastructure. Council recommends this search when purchasing a dwelling or vacant land
- Ownership Search: Provides name and postal address details, the property address and real property description
- Rates Statement: Provides current rates position including rates levied, arrears, interest and concessions to the owner of an agent acting for the vendor
- Special Water Meter Reading: Provides current water meter read, water meter number and date of read
- Limited Planning and Development Certificate: A legislative confirmation letter from council summarising any planning scheme, state planning regulatory provisions or any plan of development that apply to the property
- Standard Planning and Development Certificate: The same as a limited certificate but also inclusive of all planning and development documentation that applies to the property
- Full Planning and Development Certificate: The same as a standard certificate but also inclusive of any infrastructure agreements, statement of applicable conditions to development approval, and advice about any prosecutions or proceedings for a prosecution under the Planning Act 2016
- Plumbing Inspections and Reports: Includes site inspection by council officer with full report provided to customer
- Plumbing and Drainage Reports Search: Includes complete search of all council plumbing and drainage records with full details provided to customer.
For more information on Planning and Development Certificates, read the certificates information sheet.
Request for rate, certificates and reports via TOPS
You can request rate information on a property using council's Townsville Online Products and Services application, or alternatively, you can download the Application for Property Information (PDF). You can apply by:
- Post: PO Box 1268, Townsville QLD, 4810
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In person over the customer service counter at 103 Walker Street
Unfortunately we cannot accept applications by telephone.
Townsville Online Products and Services (TOPS)
TOPS is council's system for submitting and paying for Property Searches and other products online.
If you are a new and/or occasional user of TOPS, you can register your details and submit an application immediately, paying by credit card. If you are a frequent user, you may apply to become a TOPS account holder with council. You can download a request for Credit form or request one by contacting Accounts Receivable on 1300 878 001. Account holders are billed on a regular (usually weekly) basis.
Reports will be delivered to you within the times specified in the 'View Details' section (located under each search option). You can choose to have the report emailed, posted, or made available for collection, however we recommend you choose to have the report emailed to you for the fastest delivery.
How long does it take?
Property Searches require 5 (five) working days completion time from the date of lodgement.
Our aim is to provide quality customer service to our clients and every endeavour is made to supply property information by the time requested. Council does not acknowledge applications marked URGENT and will not give any undertaking nor accept any responsibility to supply information as a matter of urgency. If you supply us with an email address we will be able to forward your Property Search more quickly than by post.
How do I pay?
Applications must be paid in full prior to commencement, and cannot be cancelled once processing has commenced. You can pay by cheque, credit card, or with cash or EFTPOS at the Customer Service Centre at the council. Regular users (e.g. solicitors, conveyancing firms) can apply for a TOPS account. Please download the Application for Property Information (PDF) for full details of fees and charges.
Building and planning document searches
Council holds copies of building and planning records for most Townsville properties, which can be helpful if you are looking to buy, sell or renovate. There are two types of building and planning records searches:
- File view: Council will find and provide access to all documentation available under legislation pertaining to a property. This service is free of charge.
- Specific document search: Council will find a specific type of documentation available under legislation pertaining to a property at your request (for example, Decision Notices only)
Once your order has been received by council we will endeavour to have documentation available to view within five working days and specific documents ready in ten working days.
All results for viewing and document searches will be delivered to the applicant via an email with an embedded link to the documentation.
Request a building and planning document search
Use the form below to apply for a building and planning document search. All applicable fees relating to building documents and searches can be found in the Planning and Development schedule of fees and charges.
For further information about Property Searches or TOPS, please contact council on 1300 878 001.