going out on a lim

LIM reports (the acronym stands for Land Information Memorandum) are prepared by local councils to give a summary of the information the council holds on each property. 

If you think a property has had work done that might have required building consent from the local council, like an addition or even a deck that’s over one metre high, it’s a good idea to get a LIM. 

The onus to remedy any illegal work on a property is on the current owner, even if they had nothing to do with it. So make sure everything is above-board, before you buy. 

The trick with a LIM is to spot the differences; they’re not as simple to interpret as you might think. You have to note everything you may think is suspect on the property and see if it has a corresponding consent on the LIM. 

If you find that a property has an illegal structure or has had unpermitted work done, you can make it a condition of the purchase that this is remedied – this could mean anything from demolition, through to remedial work, to seeking a council Safe and Sanitary Report – this is in place of the final Code of Compliance Certificate, which cannot be issued retrospectively.  

LIMs are required by the Building Act to include: 

  • approval status of Code of Compliance Certificates: a final certificate of approval for building consents
  • Compliance Schedule and Warrant/Statement of Fitness (for certain systems or features of commercial and multi-residential properties)
  • details of operative and proposed zoning, road widening, height restrictions, view and tree protection, and any Historic Places Trust listing
  • any outstanding requisitions or notifications from the local authority regarding any matters on that property that do not meet the council’s specifications and which require action within a certain time frame. 

They may also include some or all of the following: 

  • information on special land features or characteristics including potential erosion, falling debris, subsidence, slippage, flooding, presence of hazardous contaminants
  • information on private and public storm water and sewerage drains
  • information on rates owing on the property
  • details of approved building, plumbing/drainage and resource planning permits and consents. 

It’s important to bear in mind that councils are only obliged to include on the LIM, information which they have on file. If something isn’t noted on the LIM, it could be because it isn’t an issue for that property, or it could be that they simply don’t know about it. 

This is an extract from The Streetwise Home Buyer. The full chapter covers much more and you can download it below for free.

Pre-purchase home inspections

  • DIY checks
  • What’s a CV?
  • Registered valuations
  • Certificates of Title
  • QV Reports
  • Terranet
  • Comparative sales reports
  • Council reports
  • Testing the land