Safe & Sanitary Reports
Safe & Sanitary reports give advice on the status of a structure or building (from the perspective of being safe and sanitary) of non-consented building work (work that was carried out without a permit, or has not obtained a full set of inspections and are not signed off as completed) prior to 1 July 1992.
Non-consented building work can, at the discretion of the local Territorial Authority, be allowed to remain in place if that work can be demonstrated not to be "dangerous or insanitary". “Dangerous” means likely to cause injury or death to any person(s) or damage to other property; or would give rise to almost certain loss of life in a fire.
“Insanitary” means situated, or constructed, or in such disrepair, as to be offensive or likely to be injurious to health; subject to undue dampness or without adequate potable water or sanitary facilities for the intended use.
What will a typical Safe & Sanitary Report provide?
The Safe & Sanitary report will comment on whether:
The building work is safe, including fire safety
The dwelling is sanitary - not offensive or likely to be a health risk
The dwelling is not affected by dampness
The dwelling has adequate potable water or has adequate sanitary facilities
Please be aware if you go ahead and purchase the property then get a safe and sanitary report, ‘Please Note’, the report may identify remedial work needed to bring the dwelling up to standard and this remedial work may require a building consent and the repairs will be at the todays building code and could become quite expensive.
A Territorial Authority may accept from a suitably qualified person, a Safe & Sanitary report and issue a "letter of comfort" acknowledging acceptance of the report. The letter of acceptance is limited to the time of issue, it is non-statutory, it is not a consent or guarantee, and the Territorial Authority retains the right to take further action in the future if the illegal building work becomes dangerous or insanitary.
Some Territorial Authority are registering unauthorised work, however these have not been checked to see if they are safe and sanitary or even meet or come close the building code of the day when constructed.
The Safe & Sanitary report, the letter of acceptance, and the registered unauthorised work will be held in the property’s file and will appear on the land information memorandum (LIM).