A CoA is a letter issued by the territorial authority (TA) for the area where the building is located. It is usually issued for work that was carried out without a building consent. However a building owner may apply when any of the following situations occur:

  • Where a current or previous owner has carried out building work for which a consent was required but was not obtained (under either the 1991 or 2004 Building Acts).
  • Where a building consent authority that is not a territorial or regional authority is unable or refuses to issue a code compliance certificate in respect of building work for which it granted a building consent.
  • Where a building certifier is unable or refuses to issue a code compliance certificate or building certificate
  • Where building work started or consented before 31 March 2005 affects public premises.

An owner must apply for a certificate of acceptance for building work that has been carried out urgently (see section 42 of the Building Act 2004).

The fact that a certificate of acceptance can be issued does not relieve a person from the legal requirement to obtain a building consent for building work. The territorial authority still has the ability to issue a notice to fix (NTF) and to prosecute building owners, builders and supervisors for failing to obtain a building consent.

A certificate of acceptance cannot be issued if:

  • building work was carried out prior to 1 July 1992 (when the building consent provisions of the Building Act 1991 came into force)
  • a building consent was ever obtained for the work concerned (except in the situation where a building certifier or building consent authority that is not a territorial or regional authority is unable or refuses to issue a code compliance certificate or if building work, started or consented before 31 March 2005, affects public premises).

An application for a certificate of acceptance must be made to the territorial authority responsible for the district where the building work is located.

What does an application for a certificate of acceptance (CoA) involve?

To apply for a CoA the following are the typical stages of work required:

  • an assessment of the council property file and a site assessment to confirm
  • the nature and condition of the building before the unconsented work was carried out and to identify the extent of work that has been carried out without a building consent
    it may be necessary to carry out invasive investigations, for example opening up internal wall and ceiling linings to confirm insulation is installed, opening up external cladding to determine whether water ingress and damage has occurred, excavating the edges of a concrete floor to determine the presence of damp proof membranes, removing tiles to confirm internal wet areas have waterproof membranes installed
  • inspect and confirm the electrical installation is building code compliant
  • inspect and confirm the plumbing and drainage installation is building code compliant
  • carry out any remedial work which is identified as necessary in order to achieve building code compliance (some of this work may require a building consent)
    provide accurate as-built plans of the completed building work (this may also require the whole house to be re-drawn depending on the nature and extent of work that has been carried out)
  • submit an application to council

 

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