A code compliance certificate is the last milestone to complete consented building work.

An owner must apply to a building consent authority for a code compliance certificate after all building work to be carried out under a building consent granted to that owner is completed. The application must be made as soon as practicable after the building work is completed and in the prescribed form.

You or your agent should provide construction documentation to the Council as the build progresses to help speed up the process.

Note: The council may make a decision to issue the code compliance certificate without an application when satisfied that the requirements of Section 94 of the Building Act 2004(external link) have been met.

What is a code compliance certificate?

A code compliance certificate gives you and future owners an assurance that the building work was done to the appropriate standards, making it safe, healthy and durable.

Lack of a code compliance certificate may prevent a bank from releasing a final builder payment or increase the cost of insurance cover. If you don’t get one then you may also have trouble selling your house.

This certificate is issued by the council under Section 95 of the Building Act 2004(external link), confirming that the council is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the building work complies with the building consent.

Submitting your construction documentation early

We encourage you (or your agent) to provide the construction documentation, as listed on the Building Consent Construction Documentation and Advice Notes document provided with your building consent, throughout the build – it will assist with the timely processing of your application for code compliance certificate.

Online:  Submit documents using Online Services via the Upload additional information option.

Applying for your code compliance certificate

An owner must apply to a building consent authority for a code compliance certificate after all building work to be carried out under a building consent granted to that owner is completed. The application must be made as soon as practicable after the building work is completed and in the prescribed form. All construction documentation should be submitted at this time, if not previously submitted.

Please refer to the building consent construction documentation and advice notes provided with your building consent at the time of issue.

Download the Application for a code compliance certificate [PDF, 196 KB] (Form 6 B-011) or you can also pick up an application form from any Council service desk and submit your application with any attachments using one of the following methods:

Fees and charges

Fees vary for applications depending on the type of project. Where the cost to make a code compliance certificate decision exceeds the fee paid at the point of granting the consent then additional time may be charged at the relevant officer charge out rate.

Please refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule.

How long before I get my certificate?

The statutory timeframe of 20 working days for processing your application begins once the application has been received and accepted.

If the application is incomplete you will be notified with a request for information. The statutory clock will stop. Once the full information is provided the clock will be started again.

Please note that any outstanding fees must be paid before the code compliance certificate (Form 7) is issued. This includes payment of any applicable development contributions.

Code compliance certificate for historic consents over five years old

A historic consent is defined as a building consent where the first inspection was undertaken more than five years ago and the most recent inspection undertaken more than six months before the application for code compliance certificate was received. In these cases, the Council may choose to undertake a desktop review of the building consent file and undertake a further onsite inspection to ensure all the building work has been carried out and is still in accordance with the building consent before deciding whether to issue a code compliance certificate. This inspection will take into consideration the passage of time since building work was substantially completed and the current condition of the building work.

Historic consents

Why hasn’t Council dealt with this before now? 
There could be a number of reasons why this has not been brought to your attention previously. The aftermath following the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010/11 disrupted some of the business as usual processes. However, reminder letters were sent out with regards to many outstanding building consents on record. The owner may have changed since the building consent was issued and/or the final inspection was undertaken.

What happens if I do not obtain a code compliance certificate? 

It may have an impact on insurance policies you have. The status of a code compliance certificate decision will be listed on the LIM (Land Information Memorandum) and it may have implications if you ever decide to sell your property. The Building Act 2004 highlights the need to obtain a code compliance certificate following completion of work carried out under a building consent.

What information might I need to supply? 
The first step would be to obtain the property file. A building inspector will also review the property file and will highlight any information or documentation which may be required to assist in your application for a code compliance certificate. Information may include EQC documentation (scope of works etc.), engineer’s reports and certificates, energy work certificates.

What happens if I can’t locate all of the documents I need? 
The building inspector will be able to assist and provide guidance should this situation arise. Additional inspections by the Council and/or external engineers / building surveyors may be required to verify construction, ongoing durability of a building and compliance with the building code.

How much will it cost? 
We will allocate the consent to a building inspector who will review your consent and inspection documentation. Additional inspections by the Council and/or external engineers / building surveyors will incur additional charges. These will be charged out at the hourly rate. We recommend you seek advice on costs prior to engaging external expertise. Please refer to Christchurch City Council fees and charges.

Do I need a modification of the building code for durability?
In the normal course of events the code compliance certificate is issued at about the same time the work is completed, and the durability periods therefore commence from the date of issue of the code compliance certificate. If the code compliance certificate was not sought until a significant number of years after the completion of the building work, the building consent authority might not be satisfied that the building elements will comply with Clause B2.3.1. This is because the building elements have already been in service for a significant period of time, and their durability periods will have been either partly or fully expended. Your building inspector will be able to advise if this is the case. For more information refer to the MBIE(external link) website for more information of the durability periods described in Clause B2.3.1.BIE.

How long will it take? 
This can depend on a number of factors and availability of evidence to verify building code compliance by the inspector. Additional on-site inspections could be required to verify ongoing structural, weather-tightness and durability requirements. Once a passed final inspection has been achieved it can take up to 20 working days for the code compliance certificate to be issued.

Do I have any other options? 
Following this process, if a final inspection cannot be approved or a code compliance certificate cannot be issued then you can ask for a determination through MBIE. There is information on this process here: Determinations (MBIE).(external link)

Refusal of code compliance certificate

The Council may refuse to issue a code compliance certificate if:

  • the work is not complete; or
  • we do not have adequate evidence that the work complies with your building consent; or
  • we do not have adequate evidence that the work complies with the building code (this may include required documentation not being supplied).

If you haven't applied for a code compliance certificate within two years of the building consent being granted, under section 93(2)(b) the Council must make a decision whether to issue a code compliance certificate.

Please note that passed final inspections obtained before September 2010 or up to July 2011, depending on the scope and nature of building work, may require another final inspection to ensure the building work complies with the building consent and building code has not been affected by the Canterbury Earthquake sequence. When you apply for your code compliance certificate, you must attach, where applicable, any outstanding documents not already submitted to Council.

The Council also reserves the right to re-inspect building work where the period between the passed final inspection and application for a code compliance certificate give rise for concern in respect to the passage of time, durability, scope and nature of building work.

Compliance schedule for specified systems

You may require a compliance schedule and annual warrant of fitness if the building has certain specified systems(external link) (safety and essential systems).

A draft compliance schedule will have been issued with the building consent.

A compliance schedule details the inspection, maintenance, and reporting requirements for the specified systems in a building as defined by the applicant and is issued at the same time as the code compliance certificate, along with a compliance schedule statement (Form 10).

Opening to the public

Unless a certificate for public use has been issued, members of the public cannot use or occupy public premises which have not had a code compliance certificate issued. Any breach could result in enforcement action by the Council.

Selling without the code compliance certificate

If you are building, or arranging to have built, a household unit for the purpose of selling it you must get a code compliance certificate before completing the sale, or before allowing a purchaser to take possession of the household unit. The only exception is if the on-seller and purchaser sign an agreement to waive this requirement.

There is a standard form for this agreement which advises of any potential extra costs being passed on to the buyer. For further reading see Building Act 2004 – revision section 362V(external link)