How reliable are Code of Compliance Certificates and should I get a building inspection?
Code of Compliance Certificates (CCC) nowadays are thoroughly done by the Council following on from problems in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Thorough due diligence and gaining a building inspection is highly recommended.
There are no exact or correct answers to this question but there are guidelines in the following to assist your decision and gain a better understanding of what a Code of Compliance Certificate and the date it was issued really means. We now know that Code of Compliance Certificates issued in the late 90’s and early 2000’s are often not reliable due to unstable building regulations.
The Council are so aware of prior problems and now are extremely thorough with consent of Code of Compliance Certificate.
When doing thorough due diligence at Apartment Specialists we recommend you ask your building inspector questions about the building and the cladding system used and what their opinion is rather than only asking for advice on the individual apartment.
Apartment Specialists can assist you with finding a thorough building inspector to help with your decision on your purchase.
Good day, Andrew Murray here from the Apartment Specialists. From what year can you rely on a Code of Compliance Certificate or a CCC? Now, that is the million dollar question and I actually can't give you a specific date. I can't say, for example, from 2003 or anything before that, a Code of Compliance Certificates are wrong. It weren't done properly, and anything after that is fine. I can't give you that, it's just impossible.
I've seen Code of Compliance Certificates done in 2007 that weren't done well, but in others that were done in the 90s that were done very well. I can give you a general scene and what that scene will mean is that if you're in those year brackets, you just need to go looking at that apartment complex with your eyes a bit more wide open and do the correct due diligence. Which I actually think you should do every single time, no matter what, but this will just help.
So basically, if you're looking at it, the early 90's we all know - we'll hopefully know now, as a period where a lot of the building practices that were done failed. The systems that were used and the Building Society didn't do badly on purpose. But they were told they were the right systems and they didn't work. These, for example, are things like your monolithic cladding, having no cavities and using untreated timber.
Generally, if you're looking at an apartment complex that was built in the 90s and up to the early 2000s, I wouldn't rely on the Code of Compliance. Actually, I wouldn't rely on the Code of Compliance whatsoever. Now, it doesn't mean these apartment complexes will leak, absolutely not. But what I'm saying is it means you can't rely on the Code of Compliance to assume that the work was done properly. You just need to do your due diligence better.
The good thing is because the council was getting hit so hard by these Code of Compliance Certificates they issued when they did the inspections. They're getting hit so hard - what I mean by that is financially and they are really stepping up their game. They have been for a few years and getting better and better and better at issuing Code of Compliance Certificates. They are now being much more thorough, so they can be relied on. The negative of the past is actually repaired in the future.
The important thing is, is when you're looking at apartments, even if it's brand new, it's looking at what is the cladding system? Now, you're probably thinking, "What do you mean by the system?" Well, is it composite? Is it concrete composite? Is it using slated concrete? Is it monolithic cladding? I mean, it's an obvious one. In the end, looking at these cladding systems and going, "Does it have a cavity?" This may seem like very confusing too, and that's why you use an expert.
A lot of people say getting a building inspection is a waste of time. To a degree, it is a waste of time with apartments if the inspector is only going to look at your apartment, but ask them to comment and give their opinion on the cladding system used and how that system has held up in other buildings around Auckland. And statistically that will tell you if you're dealing with a situation or a method of building which didn't work or statistically didn't work. And then again, it doesn't mean it's going to leak but it means you can actually go in and investigate further and if you still want to proceed with that purchase.
To answer the question, from what year, you're mostly looking at the '90s, early 2000s, and don't rely on the Code of Compliance Certificate. After that, yes, they mean something but still don't rely on them anyway and make sure you do your due diligence. On the cladding or the building practices used for that apartment complex. Now, I don't mean to scare you because with the right due diligence, you're absolutely fine. I learned this lesson the hard way so I'm talking from experience, from the first apartment I bought many years ago, and so I can talk about it from an educated way, I suppose.
Anyway, if you want any help, feel free to flick us an email and we can put you in touch with different inspectors to use when you're purchasing your apartment. Ones that are extremely thorough and a lot of real estate agents don't like using because they're that thorough but they're the ones you actually want to be using. Anyway, I hope that helps.
Andrew Murray, for Apartment Specialists.
If you have any questions or you want to get in touch with an inspector or an expert, flick me an email at [email protected] or call +6421 424 892 and I’ll be happy to help you with your queries.