Building consents more than four years old

The New Zealand Building Act 2004 sets the expectation that every building consent should have a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) to show the work completed meets the New Zealand Building Code.

However, in some cases this final sign off process has been overlooked.

Some owners may not know that it is their responsibility to request a CCC and others may believe that their contractors are taking care of it.  Some projects are never finished, or people forget to let Council know that their project is complete.  Some owners have purchased properties not knowing that the building work did not have a CCC.

It is in the interest of the owner to obtain a CCC where possible, as difficulties may arise when selling the property without a CCC.

This guide is to inform owners (or their authorised agent) of the steps to take if they find that their property has outstanding building consent/s and they want to obtain a CCC from Nelson City Council.

The process

Nelson City Council has adopted the following approach where a building consent has been granted more than four years ago.  Please note that the CCC may be issued at any stage during the process once Council can be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the work complies.

Building Consents issued prior to 31 March 2005:

  • The owner or the owner’s authorised agent may formalise the process with an email stating that the works are complete and they wish to pursue a Code Compliance Certificate

Building Consents issued after 31 March 2005:

  • An application for the Code Compliance Certificate should be made by the owner

The steps

Firstly, we must carry out an initial assessment of the building consent file to ascertain the quality and the quantity of information Council has on record.  The time taken will be depend on the complexity of the work.

In some cases, based on the initial assessment, Council may decide that the work does not comply with the building code and it would therefore be unreasonable for the owner to incur the cost of an inspection where CCC will not be issued.  In these cases, owners may either choose to do nothing, or commission an independent compliance report with the view to provide evidence to obtain a CCC.

Secondly, we determine if an inspection is required.  This is dependent on the quantity and quality of information Council holds.  Where an inspection is required, you will be contacted to arrange a suitable date and time.  Inspection time is likely to vary depending on the complexity of the building work.

During an inspection, it may not be possible to determine compliance with the building code.  In these circumstances, an independent compliance report from an appropriately qualified Building Consultant would be required.  Council cannot carry out invasive testing of building elements and is not permitted to design remedial works for potential non compliance.  Owners may either supply evidence by way of the consultant’s report that the building work complies, or take no further action.  If seeking a consultant’s report, it must be an investigative report and must make recommendations of remedial works required to demonstrate compliance.  Council needs to review the report and proposed remedial work.  Amendments may be made to the original building consent to cover remedial or any new work recommended by the consultant to meet compliance.

It is recommended that the consultant undertake their own inspections and confirm to Council once all works have been completed to their satisfaction.  A final inspection by the Council is also most likely to be required.

Please note that any other works which have been undertaken which are not part of the original consent will not be included on the CCC.  Other ‘non consented works’ are deemed unauthorised and would need the owners to apply for a Certificate of Acceptance for these.

Important

Time taken on the above process is charged at $125.00 per hour.  Please note that there may be outstanding fees associated with the original building consent.

Due to the variety of work covered it is difficult to estimate the time that this process will take.

The current owner of the property must apply for the CCC and the CCC can only be issued to the owner of the property.

Issuing of the CCC is in the interests of both the Council and the owner; issuing of CCC will not be withheld unduly, however Council must be satisfied on reasonable grounds of compliance.

In some cases the CCC may not be issued.  In the rare circumstances where the CCC cannot be issued, the owner / agent may seek a determination from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.