Safe & Sanitary Reports

Safe & Sanitary or Third Party reports are a valid way to achieve a paperwork completion to permitted construction alterations or additions completed prior to 1992 with no 'final sign-off'.

Prior to the July 31st 1992 building regulation upgrades, properties or alterations were constructed in accordance with an approved 'Permit' from council. This approval provided an acceptance that the work to be carried out was suitably durable and sound by design, as scrutinised by the relevant council officials. 

Unfortunately, the 'final' inspection was not considered a requirement. Subsequently, many homes have alterations and additions that have been constructed with this method and received no 'final' inspection from the authorities to verify their were construction in accordance with the originally approved 'Permit'. In fact to be more expansive, many homes have had alterations and additions otherwise requiring permits during the pre 1992 date without ever applying for them. These will not show on any LIM or council file as the works have never been through the system. 

Identifying these alterations / additions during a re-purchase / pre-sale inspection process is important. Any significant areas of alteration / addition are unlikely to be insurable and as the horse in now in front of the cart, banks are extremely hesitant to lend money on an uninsurable property. Food for thought...

Additions and alterations post original construction need verification on Permit or Consent depending on dates completed and their impact on change of use, structural alteration or weather tightness.

We can perform a review of the property or post original construction adjustments completed prior to the 31st of July 1992 to determine their suitability to achieve a 'Safe & Sanitary / Third Party' report. 

If the review indicates issues with the design or completions affecting its 'Safe & Sanitary' capabilities, it will not achieve the 'certification' required. Remedial work will need to be rechecked to satisfy the inspector and the Safe & Sanitary' boundaries.  

The findings must conclude:

  • The work is considered safe.
  • The structure is sanitary – not offensive or likely to be a health risk.
  • The structure is not subject to dampness.
  • The structure has adequate drinkable water and sanitary facilities (for intended use).

What are the rules about 'Safe and Sanitary'?

Building act 2004 – ‘Safe and Sanitary’


121       Meaning of dangerous building 

1.         A building is dangerous for the purposes of this Act if, -

(a)        in the ordinary course of events (excluding the occurrence of an earthquake), the building is likely to cause –

(i)         injury or death  (whether by collapse or otherwise) to any persons in it or to persons on other property; or

(ii)         damage to other property; or 

(b)        in the event of fire, injury or death to any persons in the building or to persons on other property is likely because of fire hazard or the occupancy of the building.


2.         For the purpose of determining whether a building is dangerous in terms of subsection (1)(b),                  a territorial authority -

(a)        may seek advice from members of the New Zealand Fire Service who have been notified `to the territorial authority by the Fire Service National Commander as being competent to give advise; and

(b)        if the advice is sought, must have due regard to the advice.


123       Meaning of insanitary building

A building is insanitary for the purposes of this Act if the Building –

(a)        is offensive or likely to be injurious to health because –

(i)         of how it is situated or constructed; or

(ii)         it is in a state of disrepair; or 

(b)        has insufficient or defective provisions against moisture penetration so as to cause dampness in the building or in any adjoining building; or           

(c)        does not have a supply of potable water that is adequate for its intended use; or

(d)        does not have sanitary facilities that are adequate for its intended use.

What if I don't get the alterations verified?

Your property sale prospects can be affected and future insurers will likely place exclusions on the coverage.

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