What can the council tell you about the house?

For a small fee you can view the property file on any house, including original specifications and drawings. You can also obtain a LIM report, which provides information your local council holds about a property.

While a LIM is more expensive than viewing the property file and can take up to 10 working days to obtain, it is a valuable pre-purchase check to protect your investment.

The LIM outlines any permitted alterations that have been made to the house and any proposed local authority zoning or other changes to the area or the property. Make sure you allow for time to get a LIM when putting in an offer on a property.

A LIM report will show whether existing works have received council consent and whether the council requires any remedial work. Any house built or modified since 1992 should have a code compliance certificate or a certificate of acceptance issued by the local council to confirm the completed work meets the requirements of the Building Code. If it hasn’t, you need to find out why.

The LIM will also give you information about matters such as soil contamination, possibility of flooding, and zoning details.

Remember, however, that the LIM provides information only about those things reported to the council. Check with your lawyer that the LIM covers everything you need to know.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: