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Property column: unconsented work.

Lisa and James decided it was time to sell their home and make the big move overseas. All they needed was a keen buyer. Lisa and James were in luck as the neighbour had heard they wanted to sell and put a reasonable offer forward.


The only problem was that the dwelling did not have a Code Compliance Certificate. Lisa and James asked their builder friend, Steve to come and check their house to see if they would have any issues.

Steve said the property appeared to be structurally sound and that they should not have a problem with obtaining a Code Compliance Certificate from Council.

Lisa and James had the dwelling inspected by Council and were completely shocked to hear that the dwelling failed the inspection. Council stated that there were a number of issues with the dwelling that needed to be fixed before they would issue a Code Compliance Certificate.

Lisa and James were eager to get the deal done, so they agreed with their neighbour that they would sign an Agreement for Sale and Purchase conditional on them providing a Code Compliance Certificate for the dwelling. If they were unable to provide a copy of the Code Compliance Certificate to their neighbour within 20 working days from the date of the agreement, their neighbour could cancel the agreement.

Lisa and James thought 20 working days would give them plenty of time to get the paper work into Council and receive a Code Compliance Certificate given their friend had reassured them the dwelling was structurally sound. As they were very confident the transaction would go through smoothly, they decided to give notice to their employers, book their flights overseas and arrange a temporary rental. They were so excited to start their big adventure overseas.

Lisa and James urgently contacted a builder to come to the property and provide them with a quote and an estimated completion date for the works. Much to their surprise the quote was for almost $10,000 and the work would take approximately two months considering the weather and public holidays.

Panic began to set in as Lisa and James realised that settlement could be delayed for some time while the works are completed or even worse they may lose the sale altogether. It is important to obtain legal advice before entering into an agreement especially if there is unconsented work.



For further Property Law advice, get in touch with Nick and the Property Law team.
nick@davenportslaw.co.nz | 09 883 4420


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