Unauthorised building works

Published 20 May 2022

Unauthorised building work means work that is required, but did not obtain, a building consent under the Building Act 2004. It can affect safety, health, insurance, liability and the bank balance of the person who owns it.

Examples of the consequences can include:

- Death or injury to people using the building.
- Difficulty insuring and selling your property.
- A notice to fix (requirement to remedy a breach of the Building Act)
- An infringement notice (fine).
- Prosecution in the Courts
- Building consent for any remedial work.

How do I find out about my property?
You can start with a Land Information Memorandum (LIM). The LIM won’t show unauthorised additions or alterations, but it will include permits and building consents that have been issued and identifies if consents have been certified or not.
If the property does not match the LIM, it is an indication that unauthorised building work may have been done.

What can I do about it now?
You can’t apply for a building consent after the works have been done. In other words, there is no such thing as a ‘retrospective’ building consent.

Please contact us to discuss your options to comply with the Building Act 2004. Ask about a certificate of acceptance. In some cases, this might help.

How do I avoid it in the future?

Request information and guidance from a Council building officer and planner when planning your project. Make sure to include compliance when setting your project time, money and scope.

You can find an indepth guide on what work does not require a consent on the building performance website:
www.canibuildit.govt.nz is a handy interactive tool for homeowners who want to renovate or repair their home.
Council is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding unauthorised building work. Our contact details can be found below.