What Is A Property File?27 Jan 2021

There are lots of things to think about when buying a new property, including finances, suitability, style, and age. However, there is one more critical point that is arguably the most important: the overall condition of the home.
What areas may need attention in the coming years? What needs looking at right now? Is the property a worthy investment overall?

Most home buyers are aware of the two critical documents required to make an informed decision. These are the Legal Title and the LIM Report. However, we also suggest making one more step before making an offer on a property. We strongly recommend that you review the Property File.

What is a Property File?

A New Zealand Property File contains information about the property that is not included in your LIM Report. It will contain information on the extra work being done on the property that the local council is aware of. Be aware that if the work did not get consent, it won't be available on file.

There typically is a cost for obtaining a Property File from your local council, but it’s well worth it. There may also be an extra charge for making a copy of the file. However, we wouldn't expect you to pay more than $50 - $100 altogether.

Why Should I Obtain a Property File?

A Property File will likely include documents like architect drawings, or communication files between the local council, homeowners and architects. The file will also typically contain important information around:

- Building Consents
- Building Plans
- Code Compliance Certificates
- Certificate of Acceptance Documents
- As-Builts (Internal Sewer & Stormwater Plans)
- Planning & Subdivision Information
- Resource Consents

All of this information is critical for building up the history of your property, along with any potential issues identified in the past. This information is especially important when it comes to the structure of the home, but can also point to other issues with sewage pipes or drainage etc.

Does a Property Report replace a Building Inspection?

A Property File is designed to complement a Building Inspection rather than replace it. When the two documents are viewed together, it will help you make better informed decisions, as you will be fully aware of the property’s true history.

Buying a home is likely the largest investment you will ever make, so you should be aware of the property’s history as well as it’s current state. Making these small steps now can save a lot of headaches (and extra costs) in the future.

Link: TelferYoung Building Inspections are New Zealand's Leading building inspectors. Contact our offices in Taranaki, Rotorua, Taupo and Northland.