Exempt Building Work
Before starting a building project careful consideration should be given as to whether the work requires a building consent or whether it is exempt under Schedule 1 of the Building Act.
Exemptions from building consent fall into two categories:
- Work that is automatically exempted under Schedule 1
- Work where the Council can make a discretionary decision to exempt under Schedule 1 Exemption 2
Work that is automatically exempt under the Building Act
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) provides detailed guidance with various examples of the building work that is automatically exempt under Schedule 1.
The decision of whether building work is exempt under Schedule 1 is decided by the owner not by QLDC, with the exception of a discretionary Exemption 2 (see below) . The owner has the right to make this decision, but they also have responsibility for ensuring that the decision is correct and that any exempt work fully complies with the requirements of the Building Code and other relevant legislation, such as the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006, the Electricity Act 1992 and the Resource Management Act 1991.
If you are doing repairs or alterations without a building consent we recommend you seek professional advice and keep records of the work done and who carried out the work. This will assist when you come to sell your home in the future, as purchasers are likely to have questions about the work and if it was done properly.
Notification of Owner Exemption
If you want to have a record of the work that has been completed under a Schedule 1 exemption saved on the Councils property file, you can fill out a Notification of Building Work- Owner Decided Exemption form. This will help ensure that the compliance of all work on your property is accurately recorded, which may assist with any future sale of your property.
The completed notification form should be submitted though the Sharefile Portal along with supporting information that describes the work in appropriate detail.
Download: AF EXOWN- Notification of Building Work- Owner Decided Exemption (PDF, 385KB) (NEW)
Exemption 2- Discretionary Exemptions by the Territorial Authority
Under Schedule 1(2) the QLDC Territorial Authority may make a discretionary decision as to whether building work is exempt from the requirement for a Building Consent. Exemption 2 is the only exemption in Schedule 1 that requires the Territorial Authority to make a decision about any proposed building work.
For further guidance from MBIE on exemption 2 please click here.
The following guidance criteria has been developed by QLDC to assist with the evaluation of Schedule 1(2) exemption requests. A project may fit more than one of the following criteria and may therefore have a stronger case for approval as a result. The criteria provides guidance only and does not represent an automatic approval. Each request application is judged on its own merits as to whether it will be accepted or refused.
1. Building work with a value less than $20,444 (no BRANZ or MBIE levy requirement)
2. Building work that in the view of the TA does not comply with the exemption limitations of Schedule 1 Item 1 (1) or (2), but is just outside those limitations and as a result of no more risk of non-compliance with the building code.
- Carport >20m2
- Marquee and tents >100m2 floor area, that is to be used for a period of not more than 1 month
- Closing in an existing veranda or patio >5m2
- New porch, veranda or awning >20m2
- Shade sail >50m2
- Retaining walls >1.5m retaining
- Fences and hoardings >2.5m in height
- Decks, platforms, bridges, boardwalks & similar where fall height >1.5m
- Signs >6m2 in area
3. Building work that does not fit Items 1 & 2 above, but is a ‘simple, low-risk structure’, typically of Importance level 1 from Building Code clause A3 – Building importance levels, e.g.
- Farm Buildings
- Proprietary garage
- Bus Shelter
4. Building work that does not fit Items 1 & 2 above but that is ‘fully engineered’, and deemed by the TA to be ‘minor’ works, e.g.
- Construction or removal of a retaining wall located in a residential zone
5. Building work for more complex engineered projects where designed and supervised by chartered professional engineers either for temporary or permanent structures where QLDC consenting and inspection procedures would add little to the overall process, e.g.
- Lighting towers
- Music stages
- Motorway tunnels
- Electrical substations
- Wharf repairs
Application for Exemption
You can apply for a Schedule 1(2) exemption using the below AF EX form. The completed application form should be submitted though the Sharefile Portal along with supporting information that describes the work in appropriate detail.
Download: AF EX Application for Exemption (PDF, 127KB)
Safeguard Yourself, Your Home, Your Future Security
As a final reminder, if you are doing repairs or alterations without a building consent we strongly advise you to seek professional advice and keep records of the work done and who carried out the work. This will assist when you come to sell your home in the future, as purchasers are likely to have questions about the work and if it was done properly.
Even if work is exempt the owner should still give consideration to the benefits of applying for a Building Consent and a Project Information Memorandum (PIM). These will ensure that all legal requirements are identified and will provide appropriate documentation on your property file that the completed work is compliant.