Code Compliance Certificates are important when buying a home

Code Compliance Certificates are important when buying a home.  Solicitors, insurance companies, banks and other lenders often require it – not to mention your own piece of mind too. But what if you find your dream home and the CCC has not yet been completed?

Not all is lost.  The best place to start is with the property file to see what’s happened.

Is there a Building Consent?

House, garage, carport, extensions, etc

If the answer is yes, that’s a great start – dig a little deeper into the inspection records that have been carried out by your local council and see what red flags were raised by the inspector.  Weigh up the costs involved in fixing these failed items.  If inspections haven’t been completed, you will need to contact the council to arrange for your inspections – remember there could be more than 1 required.

Has anything been refused?

A refused application sounds a little scary, but it’s generally ok.  This can mean that the time to complete the building work has lapsed.  Contact the local council to see how much it costs to restart the application process.

If the CCC application has been processed and has been refused, there will likely be a serious durability issue with the building work.  In most cases it won’t be worth the stress, time and money to try and resolve.

Next, what documents are needed to support your CCC application?

Take a look at the consent conditions for the advice notes or 3rd party verification – these are the documents required outside of the Building Act, like Producer Statements, in particular a PS4 construction review by an engineer.  If the owner has these documents, that’s another step in the right direction.  Alternatively, get the names of the tradespeople or companies that carried out the work and have a chat with them about any costs related to getting the necessary documents.

Other considerations

Minor, unconsented work can potentially be removed, if you can live without it take it down.  No harm, no foul.  Otherwise all unconsented work will require a Certificate of Acceptance.  Check the original plans to see if there has been anything added or removed since it was first constructed.

Ensure everything at the property is being used for its intended use.  This could be a simple garage converted into a bedroom or a large workshop that the owner uses as a commercial space.  This may seem like a good thing to take advantage of, however if you don’t have the proper consent (Building or Resource) the Council will require an amendment to the Building Consent, and/or Resource Consent for Change of Use.


Getting your dream home a CCC may not be impossible, however, weigh up the problems and costs involved to correct them.  Have a builder come to look at the house with you.  Read the property file thoroughly and ask questions if you don’t understand something.  

Consider how much you actually love this house if there is no consent at all, lots of failed inspections, and no details of the tradespeople who carried out the work.  All of this will equate to a lot of time and money fixing potential problems. 

Happy House Hunting!