You should not always rely on a Code Compliance Certificate

February 12, 2014

in Property

Property: HousingThe Court of Appeal has recently confirmed that in purchasing a property the purchasers cannot rely on the “mere fact of the issue of a Code Compliance Certificate” as an assurance of weathertightness.  In Johnson v Auckland Council the Court found that the purchasers were “on alert” as to the possibility that the property could have been a leaky home.

The Court did not consider that it was appropriate to suggest there should be a general requirement on purchasers to obtain a building report but in cases where there is an awareness or an alert to weathertightness problems then there is an obligation on purchasers to obtain an appropriate Building Consultant’s report, even in the event there is a Code Compliance Certificate in respect of the property.  In the High Court the Judge also said that it would have been prudent for the purchasers or their Solicitor to check Council records (although in this case a full check of the records would not have revealed any adverse information).

Real Estate Agents are now obliged to advise purchasers of the risks and need for specialists reports when they are deemed to have suspicions as to defects in a property they are marketing.

The result was in this case that the Court of Appeal reduced the award of damages payable by the Council by 40% because of the purchasers’ contributory negligence in failing to obtain a pre purchase report.

Purchasers are advised to make detailed enquiries and obtain legal advice prior to purchase.  Farry and Co. are experts in this area and can advise you in all aspects in relation to conveyancing matters.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Michael Nidd

03 477 8870 or 09 379 0055


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only.  It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

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