Dealing with Historic Unconsented Work

The architect had applied for the building consent on behalf of the owner as the owner wanted to convert a single dwelling into two separate units.
The owners had done some alterations, and the previous owners carried out the rest of the job without obtaining building consent.
The architect submitted a safe & sanitary report along with the building consent, which was outrightly rejected. The building consent was put on hold, requesting the owner to apply for a certificate of acceptance to establish compliance under the building act.

The architect was aware that I dealt with the Certificate of acceptance application process. He asked me to help him resolve this issue as the insurance cover had been compromised due to unconsented works.
He passed me the owners’ details, and I put a plan in place.
I estimated my costs and time and asked for the owners’ approval, which he was delighted to do.
I carried out a desktop- study and separated the extent of consented and unconsented work.
I carried out the inspection and prepared two separate reports:

  • Detailing the consented work.
  • Detailing the unconsented work.

I realised interior works like non-load bearing partition walls doors and exterior jobs like installing ranch slider and removing a door exempted under the Building Act 2004.

Most of the unconsented works were exempted or were part of the building consent process.
I asked the owner if we opted for a Certificate of Acceptance; would we provide the paperwork to support the application?

He replied by saying that since the previous owner did the works, that was not a possibility.

The only bathroom was not part of the building consent process, and I advised the owner that it would be better to demolish it and build it.
The owner agreed immediately.
I arranged a meeting with the building control durability team, represented the owner, and submitted the report.

The CoA officer went through the report, looked at our proposal, and concluded that a Certificate of acceptance was not required. The owners had decided to remove the unconsented bathroom; therefore, no certificate of acceptance was required.
The hold from the building consent was released, and the architect and owners were happy with the outcome.

COA pre-application meeting outcome