Information about building consent requirements to convert a residential garage or building into a habitable space (sleepout).

Getting a building consent before converting a building into alternative accommodation

If building alterations are to be carried out as part of the conversion a building consent may be required.

It would be sensible to ensure that the building is dry, has ventilation and adequate insulation. If such (building) work is proposed a building consent may be required for this depending on what is proposed. Part of this consent would also include the requirement to fit smoke alarms in both the new sleepout and in the house.

Further information is available on our exemptions from building consent webpage.

A resource consent may be required if there are any non-compliances with the District Plan, such as loss of car parking or outdoor living spaces, or setbacks from boundaries. We recommend that you contact the Duty Planner on (03) 941 8999 to check this.

Subject to obtaining a building consent, a toilet or bathroom may be installed in a sleepout but a kitchen may not be installed.


Using an on-site caravan or campervan for accommodation

There are many issues relating to this activity. The Building Act 2004, District Plan requirements and the Christchurch City Bylaws may have to be considered.

If the caravan or campervan is deemed to have become a building under the definition in the Building Act, a building consent will be necessary. A resource consent may also be required if it does not meet building setbacks, recession planes and building coverage rules in the District Plan.

If you propose to use a caravan for accommodation, please speak to a Duty Planner on (03) 941 8999 in the first instance. You will also need to discuss your proposal with a Duty Building Consent Officer.