Skip links

Buying a property with unconsented works 

Building work must meet the standards set out in the Building Act 2004 and the building code. Under the current system, there is a two-step process to have your proposed building work consented and signed off:

  1. You must apply to your local council for building consent, and
  2. The consenting council must inspect the work in order to issue a code of compliance certificate (CCC) confirming that the work has been completed in compliance with the building code.

If you fail to obtain the proper consent and the CCC then your building work is unconsented which leads to significant issues when you come to sell your property. Some banks will not lend to buyers of properties that have unconsented work.

What is most important is to check with your insurer to confirm you can get insurance cover before you sign the agreement. A condition of most, if not all, mortgages is that you keep the property fully insured. If your home has unconsented works, some insurance policies will not cover the unconsented area and some will not cover any damage where, for example, a fire originates in the unconsented area, even if the fire spreads to a consented area. In extreme cases, unconsented works could void your cover entirely.

For some situations, there is a process available to obtain a certificate of acceptance which is the council signing off on your unconsented building work. The process to obtain such a certificate changes from council to council. It may also not be available if too much time has elapsed.

It is important to do your due diligence, so you know what you are buying before you sign the agreement.

If you need any guidance on this, please talk with us.