CCC Applications for Historical Building Consents

Not everyone has applied for their Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) at the end of building work.

Key information

  • It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that a CCC is applied for and issued to them before occupation or use of buildings. It is neither QLDCs, nor ultimately the builder's responsibility to do so for an owner
  • Not having a CC can lead to significant issues with selling, financing and insuring the property
  • Obtaining a CCC is not a simple rubber-stamping exercise by QLDC. QLDC has to undertake a number of due diligence checks to ensure on reasonable grounds that the building work is compliant
  • All CCC applications for Historical Building Consents need to be evaluated carefully.  While the goal is to arrive at a successful outcome for the applicant, there may be situations where we cannot be satisfied that the building work complies

What may have happened

Sometimes people don't realise it's their responsibility to request a CCC, others might think their builder will take care of it.  Some projects are never finished or people simply forget to submit their application. Whatever the reason it can lead to significant problems when you go to sell your property or re-finance it.

Many home-owners who discover they do not have a CCC find themselves in a stressful situation when they lodge their application. There is often a lack of understanding that obtaining a CCC is not a straightforward rubber-stamping process.

When a significant period of time has passed since the build completion the CCC processing, it is even more complex.

The Building Code has specific time periods set out for durability of materials and building elements. The longer that building work has been left before applying for a CCC, the harder it is to determine whether these minimum time periods will be complied with.

In cases where the building work is already 5 or more years old, elements of the work may have already exceeded their expected durability or manufacturer’s warranty. 

What can be done

To help you through the process of applying for CCCs for historical Building Consents, QLDC has produced a guidance document.

It explains:  

  • Applications can be refused due to lack of information about building construction. In such cases, an independent 'suitably qualified' building consultant may need to be engaged to undertake a full inspection of your building (e.g. remove wall claddings) to assess if construction complies with the Building Code
  • For Building Consents over 5 years old an AF 23.1 B2 Durability Modification Application needs to be completed and submitted. This is a declaration in which the owner acknowledges that the durability timeframe for the building elements has been reduced due to the delays with the CCC application

B2 Durability modification

  • The Building Code has specific time periods set out for durability of various elements of construction
  • The longer building work is left before applying for a CCC, the harder it is to determine whether these minimum time periods will be complied with
  • In cases where the building work is already 5 or more years old elements of the work may have already exceeded their expected durability or manufacturer’s warranty

The following form is a declaration signed by the owner, and QLDC, to acknowledge that the durability timeframe for the building elements has been reduced due to the delays associated with applying for a CCC:

Independent inspection report

  • Historical Building consents often involve work that was completed long ago with little evidence as to whether it was completed correctly
  • If adequate records are not available to verify the quality of construction then an invasive level of inspection may be required
  • QLDC cannot undertake this level of invasive assessment, therefore we may be unable to approve your Final Inspection
  • For example, this could involve removal of wall panels or external wall cladding.
  • If the homeowner wishes to they may seek to obtain evidence that the building work is compliant through obtaining a building inspection report from an independent 'suitably qualified' building consultant

Hiring a suitably qualified building consultant

QLDC does not endorse or recommend any specific building consultants.

An owner should investigate before engaging the services of a consultant to ensure they are suitably qualified. Key considerations should include:

  • Having significant knowledge of the Building Act and NZ Building Code
  • Having experience in key areas of building design, construction or inspection specifically around weathertightness and structure
  • Ability to undertake invasive testing
  • Having a suitable qualification, professional registration or industry association e.g:
    • RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors)
    • NZIBS (New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors)
    • CPENG (Chartered Professional Engineer)
    • BOINZ (Building Official Institute of NZ)

The qualifications of a selected consultant are assessed when a technical assessment report is submitted to QLDC.

For further information on requirements along with example case studies please see the above guidance document.

Building Code changes

For Building Consents issued under the Building Act 1991 (i.e. prior to 31 March 2005), building work must comply at least with the Building Code at the date of grant.

If the Building Code has changed since grant, it is not mandatory comply to that new requirement to have a CCC issued.

For Building Consents issued after 31 March 2005, under the Building Act 2004, building work must comply with the Building Consent documentation, and consequently the Building Code that applied at the date of consent.