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Topic # 204298 26-Sep-2016 04:00
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Hey guys,
My girlfriend is looking to buy a house in West Auckland. In the plans at the council it is a single bedroom "cottage" with a kitchen, bathroom, dining/living area. But in fact 1 bedroom has been split into 2, an extra living room and bedroom have been added (built over a deck which isn't on the original plan), there is also a rumpus room and study downstairs and garage. So its been majorly extended and no sign of any building consents. The rumpus/study and garage were added likely pre-1992 (so they don't need a building consent?) but no idea about the extra living area and bedroom over the deck.

 

Apparently it was owned by a builder who we guess must have done it himself. She got a verbal building report basically stating nothing major issues. But worried about potential resale and insurability. Anyone bought somewhere without building consents? Can these be granted retrospectively?






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  Reply # 1640452 26-Sep-2016 06:42
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No, consents can't be issued retrospectively but you could get the owner to obtain a certificate of acceptance.

 

https://www.building.govt.nz/projects-and-consents/sign-off-and-maintenance/completing-your-project/certificate-of-acceptance/

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1640477 26-Sep-2016 08:26
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I can't imagine how cheap it would be for you to even consider this. The areas this could go wrong on are substantial. Avoid. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1640479 26-Sep-2016 08:33
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She should talk to her lawyer before putting in any offers.




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  Reply # 1640481 26-Sep-2016 08:35
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I would be very wary. However if you're willing to buy it someone else probably will in the future too.

 

Suckerpunch:

 

No, consents can't be issued retrospectively but you could get the owner to obtain a certificate of acceptance.

 

https://www.building.govt.nz/projects-and-consents/sign-off-and-maintenance/completing-your-project/certificate-of-acceptance/

 

 

We couldn't get one of these for our bathroom, as WCC wanted to see things as it was built.

 

 





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  Reply # 1640495 26-Sep-2016 09:37
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Zeon:

 

She got a verbal building report basically stating nothing major issues. But worried about potential resale and insurability. Anyone bought somewhere without building consents? Can these be granted retrospectively?

 

 

If she is interested in the Property then she should get a formal written building report from a respectable organsiation.

 

As others have mentioned she should also talk to a lawyer specialising in property, and potentially her bank, (they may have a dim view on lending on a partially non consented property)

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1640524 26-Sep-2016 10:48
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I would steer well clear of it...

 

UNLESS:

 

1) the price you are paying is probably cheaper than it will be to buy the land by itself so even if you scrapped or moved the house its still cheap enough land.

 

2) You can truck the cottage off somewhere, if you need to sell it someone. 

 

Otherwise get the owner to get it as a part of the sale. 

 

Dealing with the council is a VERY long and VERY painful process. I have done it on multiple occasions, you could be waiting months to get anywhere.






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  Reply # 1640525 26-Sep-2016 10:49
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I'd also talk to insurers - If she can't get insurance she can't get a mortgage as banks will require insurance.


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  Reply # 1640556 26-Sep-2016 11:37
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KrazyKid:

 

I'd also talk to insurers - If she can't get insurance she can't get a mortgage as banks will require insurance.

 

 

 

 

This. Also, insurance would only cover the original building, so any non "complied" additions would not be covered. (Depending on exact policy etc)





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  Reply # 1640576 26-Sep-2016 12:04
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How can the "builder" - who presumably knows at least one or two things about building consents, just go ahead and add 4 living areas without permit? I just don't understand ...





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  Reply # 1640599 26-Sep-2016 12:37
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Houses get sold all the time without proper consent, however yours appears very very major...

 

We are not talking about a few walls pulled down and a few beams put in, we are talking substantially adding to the footprint of the house.

 

Sorry mate, best avoid this one, or if you really want it, get the current owner to apply for a cert. of acceptance as mentioned above. 

 

 

 

Unfortunately in this market, I would expect someone to snap it up quickly even in its current state, which is a shame. 


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  Reply # 1640624 26-Sep-2016 13:15
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We looked into a similar situation with our son recently and found there's heaps of good useful stuff on the Auckland Council website.

 

You may like to have a look at this - and also hunt further on their site - not hard to find the info 

 

 

 

Auckland Council Link




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  Reply # 1640627 26-Sep-2016 13:23
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Thanks for the info guys. The price is pretty good and without too much effort (well at least in construction - except with the installation of some windows) - building consent may be another story since the Rumpus isn't actually consented :P ) there is the opportunity to convert the rumpus to 2 bedrooms and a bathroom which could majorly increase the value of the house as it would in effect turn into:

 

- 5 bedroom
- 2 bathroom
- 2 living areas
- connected garage

 

Her offer is $610k (which could be a little high), the above work may be $50k? The value would move to >$700k immediately I would think and rent would probably be >$650/week.

 

Interesting twist, the bank has it recorded as 3 bedrooms in their system which must include the unconsented bedroom. They have offered finance and a mortgage on it even with the garage.

 

She is getting a building report done now.






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  Reply # 1640633 26-Sep-2016 13:29
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I was in this situation, and had my offer accepted, but my lawyer told me to walk away. Too many potential issues with things like insurance etc. If something unconsented led to a loss, eg a fire was cause by faulty wiring, then insurance companies may not cover you. Huge amount to risk IMO.

 

Are you sure it didn't have a building consent? If it was owned by a builder who did the work, then they  would know to get one. If it has a building consent but no CCC, then you should be able to still get a CCC for it, depending on how old the consent is.

 

 

 

A building report is likely to be useless in this situation, and many people who do the tests aren't builders, they are box tickers.. They are also usually just 'visual' and won't generally look at this type of thing. Some will also look at things required for new buildings under the current building code, even though the building maybe 50 years old. You don't have to get an old building up to todays building code.

 

Instead you should get an very experienced builder to look at it, so they can see what needs to be done, and a price for it, and compare the current work againest the building code

 

 


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  Reply # 1640641 26-Sep-2016 13:41
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Zeon:

 

 

 

Interesting twist, the bank has it recorded as 3 bedrooms in their system which must include the unconsented bedroom. They have offered finance and a mortgage on it even with the garage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They will be getting it from QV, and the figures can be wrong. They don't really mean anything. But if banks are using that info, that is a worry.  My house says I have 6 bedrooms and 1 bathroom,. We asked for it to be corrected, but it hasn't been.


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  Reply # 1640678 26-Sep-2016 14:01
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jjnz1:

 

Houses get sold all the time without proper consent, however yours appears very very major...

 

We are not talking about a few walls pulled down and a few beams put in, we are talking substantially adding to the footprint of the house.

 

Sorry mate, best avoid this one, or if you really want it, get the current owner to apply for a cert. of acceptance as mentioned above. 

 

 

 

Unfortunately in this market, I would expect someone to snap it up quickly even in its current state, which is a shame. 

 

 

 

 

That is the sad reality with a housing shortage. Some investors will likely buy it, so it up and add extra bedrooms and flick it on, even without a consent. Apparently councils can request you remove any unsonsented works. But whether this happens in reality is another thing.


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