Auckland Council has recently announced its new policy regarding unconsented building works, which is to be implemented from 1 July 2015.
Under the Building Act 2004, building consents are required for all building work that is not exempted. Unconsented works must be removed unless a certificate of acceptance is granted by the relevant council – and it may come with an infringement fee. The new policy provides that Auckland applicants for a certificate of acceptance will first need to attend a pre-application meeting with the Council to discuss how to resolve the issue.
Ian McCormick, the general manager of Auckland Council’s Building Control Department, has indicated that the Council aims to ‘ensure compliance across the industry at the same time ensuring that emergency repairs or minor oversights on otherwise compliant structures are not unnecessarily challenged.’
This serves as a helpful reminder of the costs of undertaking unconsented works, or buying property where unconsented works have been carried out. In particular, home buyers must be careful to ensure that renovations were undertaken with the requisite building consent. Many contracts of sale contain vendor warranties that all works were consented, but these may be difficult to chase up, especially if the defect is not discovered for some time.