Home buyers need to check for unconsented additions

Helensville LibraryAucklanders buying new homes with unconsented decks or other additions should not assume that they won’t have to remove it, according to Ian McCormick, general manager of Auckland Council’s Building Control Department.
“From 1 July we are introducing a new policy that will be consistent across the region and not a mix of legacy council rules,” he says. The rules around unconsented works have always been important, says Mr McCormick. “What doesn’t change is the fact that anything unconsented will need to have a Certificate of Acceptance (CoA) to meet the current NZ Building Code, not the code at the time of construction.”
“This is a very important consideration for home buyers, and for real estate agents. A ‘she’ll be right’ attitude doesn’t stop a major structural failure, such as the deck we saw collapse in Te Atatu last year.” According to Mr McCormick, the new policy is about taking a pragmatic approach to resolving what can be challenging situations. “The policy’s purpose is 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,” he says.
To ensure the building meets the current building code, there is a requirement for all CoA applicants to attend a pre-application meeting with Building Control, providing as much information as possible.
The meeting will help decide the council’s response, including if there will be an infringement fee. “If the council believes the construction would not have attained consent then there may not be a processing fee, but instead there will be a discussion about how the issue will be resolved, including how the infringing building structure will be removed if necessary,” he says.
The Certificate of Acceptance will indicate which parts of the structure have been assessed, and how those elements comply with the NZ Building Code.
For further information please contact: - John Evans, senior specialist, publicity Contact details: 0274 545 637

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