Using unqualified “tradies” may lead to unexpected consequences

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While getting a “handy mate” to do work on your property at “mate’s rates” may seem like a good idea at the time, it can create problems later on.

In the old days, selling a home without a permit was not a big deal.  But that is no longer the case –today, both banks and purchasers are a lot more risk adverse.  If you have unconsented or unpermitted work on your property, the ability to sell it and the price you may get can be seriously affected.  Councils will not retrospectively grant Building Consents or Code Compliance Certificates, so problems can be difficult to rectify. In addition, your insurance company may refuse to pay out if unpermitted work on your property contributed to the loss you are trying to claim.

If you’re planning certain types of work on your property, be aware you may need a Permit and a Code Compliance Certificate for the work to be considered “signed off”. As part of the process to get your Compliance Certificate, certain tradespeople need to provide a Producer Statement to Council.  Only registered tradespeople can do this.  Without the Producer Statement Council will not issue the Compliance Certificate.  As the person applying for the Code Compliance Certificate, it is your job to ensure you employ people who are suitably qualified or licensed.

Landlords should also beware. If your rental property has unpermitted work it can render your tenancy unlawful. This was the case for a Dunedin couple who purchased a property unaware there were unpermitted alterations.  The Tenancy Tribunal ordered them to give back $10,000 to the tenant because she had been living in the property with unpermitted alterations for 29 weeks. This was a full refund of all rent paid.

If you’d like advice on a property you’re planning to purchase, or to get your home ready for selling, WRMK Lawyers will be happy to assist.

Our thanks to Vanessa Crosby for writing this article.