Archive | Building Consent

Construction Industry and Consents Rising

If you follow interest.co.nz you may have seen the news that construction industry revenue is on the rise, and consents are growing too.

At Cheap Titles I have noticed an increase in resource consent enquiries, so perhaps everyone is coming out of winter hibernation early and getting started on their building projects!

If you’d like to discuss your requirements for a resource consent, or need some help with council red tape, please get in touch for a chat.

What are Existing Use Rights and Certificates of Compliance?

‘Exiting use rights’ is the resource management term given for activities or for physical building works (such as part of a house) that were (legally i.e. they were permitted activities and did not require resource consent) established under previous planning rules.

Existing use rights are different from having an activity that resource consent or planning permission was sought.

Existing use rights can be lost if the character, intensity and scale of these rights are modified or if the activity was discontinued for more than 12 months. For example, a childcare centre accommodating 25 children may have been legally established many years ago, but if this childcare centre were to increase in size so say 100 children, this would not have the same character, intensity or scale as when it was originally established.

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What information do I need to be able to order a Certificate of Title from Cheap Titles?

There are different types of information that you can provide in the “Enter Property Address…” field when ordering a Certificate of Title from Cheap Titles. These are explained as follows:

The Street Address

When providing a street address to order a Certificate of Title it is important to provide sufficient information to identify the particular property from any other property in New Zealand. For example, there are many Queen Streets in New Zealand so if you are after Queen Street in Auckland – it will safe time, and will ensure that you get the correct Certificate of Title by including suburb and city information in your request ie 1 Queen Street, CBD, Auckland.

The Legal Description

When providing a legal description to order a Certificate of Title it is important to provide as much of the description as possible to ensure that the correct Certificate of Title is identified and obtained for you. The location of the legal description on a Certificate of Title is shown on the image below:

The location of the Legal Description on a Certificate of Title

The location of the Legal Description on a Certificate of Title

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How the Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) Scheme Affects the Building Industry

Since the leaky homes problem came to national prominence, the Building Act has been thrown into the public limelight. With such intense scrutiny on the regulatory framework around building in NZ (or lack thereof), successive governments have been trying to tighten up regulation and deliver better quality homes for Kiwis.

The Building Act 2004 is the current law governing most building work. It paved the way for some important changes which are about to take effect and hopefully change the building industry for the better.

For anyone designing or building in 2011, the most significant of these changes is the full introduction of the Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) Scheme. The essential aim of the LBP scheme is to encourage better building and design so that the consumer is more protected by our legislation than was previously the case.

Spark Architecture

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Some Key Elements that can be on a Certificate of Title

A recent Certificate of Title (usually a title that has been issued within 3 months) is required to accompany every application for resource and building consent. It is useful to know what sort of information can be contained within a Certificate of Title because some councils require that documents relating to this additional information be provided when lodging a resource or building consent. Generally if this additional information is not provided, the council may consider that your application is ‘incomplete’ and will return it to you. This delays the processing of your consent until you can provide the missing information and return the whole application back to council.

Some information that can be contained on a Certificate of Title is as follows:

Limited to Parcels

This is common on older Certificates of Title (such as on land subdivided in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s) which may not have surveyed properly. If your title has the words ‘Limited to Parcels’ on it (if applicable this wording will be located below the main heading at the top of the page) and your application involves building works in close proximity to a property boundary you will most likely also need to submit with your resource consent application, a letter or certificate from a qualified surveyor that confirms that the proposed building works will not create any non-compliances with the District Plan (i.e. the letter or certificate will state that if the property were to be surveyed accurately the proposed works would not create any non-compliances with the District Plan rules by being located too close to a boundary).

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The new Auckland Council is live today!

Hurray, it’s the first day of summer today and today also marks the first day of the new Auckland Council. The change in local government structure in Auckland promises lots of change although, with respect to building and resource consents, it is pretty much business as usual with the exception of a few noticeable changes detailed below:

Extract from the Auckland Council Website

Extract from the Auckland Council Website

  • New application forms for building and resource consents – if you are lodging either of these you will need to go here for resource consent application forms and here for building consent application forms;
  • New application fees for building and resource consents. To find out the likely deposit fees and hourly rates for council staff processing your consent go here;
  • New contact information, including a new main reception/contact number of 09 301 0101;
  • New ward boundaries and councillors and a new mayor this also means that there may be changes in internal council processes i.e. who has delegated authority to approve and/or decline consent applications;

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Why do I need to keep obtaining Certificates of Title?

This post explains why you can not simply use the title you have lying around as part of your application for building or resource consent:

Even though you will have usually received a certificate of title for a property when the property was purchased, you will still require a new title if you later decide to apply for building consent and/or resource consent to undertake alterations or development works such as:

  • Constructing a new building;
  • Building a deck;
  • Extending an existing dwelling; or
  • Converting floor space to a different use.

The reason for this is that titles have a date of issue on them, and any application for consent, for either building or resource consent will require a certificate of title that has has been issued recently, usually this means a title that has been issued within the previous three months from the date of lodging the application at council. To check the date of issue for your title, look on the bottom right hand corner of the title document as shown in the picture below:

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