Certificates of Acceptance

Building Overview

Certificate of Acceptance (COA)

You can apply to your council for a certificate of acceptance for work done without a building consent, or in specific circumstances when a code compliance certificate (CCC) can’t be issued.

It's up to the council, but a certificate of acceptance can usually be issued for work done after 1 July 1992 (when building consents were introduced) and either:

  • was urgent, necessary to protect lives or property and there was no time to get a consent (see section 42 of the Building Act 2004)
  • an owner (or previous owner) should have got consent but didn't (under either the 1991 or 2004 Building Acts)
  • an accredited building consent authority (not a territorial or regional authority) granted consent but is unable or refuses to issue a code compliance certificate
  • was started or consented before 31 March 2005 and affects public premise

The value of a certificate of acceptance to the building owner and a potential buyer will ultimately depend on how much of the work the council was able to inspect. In many circumstances, it's not possible to see everything so the certificate will only specify the elements of the building that can be approved.

A certificate of acceptance has some similarities to a code compliance certificate in that it will provide some verification for a building owner or future owners that part or all of certain building work complies with the Building Code.

An application for a COA must be submitted via the Simpli portal and council should process a certificate of acceptance within 20 working days, and can either grant or decline your application.

If the application is declined the council may issue a notice to fix. The notice to fix should set out what remedial work needs to be done so that the work complies.

A Building Consent should always be obtained for all building work that is not exempt through Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004. However,

  • An owner may apply for a certificate of acceptance where the owner (or predecessor in title) carried out building work for which a consent was required but was not obtained (under either the 1991 or 2004 Building Acts).
  • An owner must apply for a certificate of acceptance for building work carried out urgently (see section 42 of the Building Act 2004).

Fees and Charges

The fees for processing a COA is made up of Administration, the time taken to verify compliance (technical checking) and any inspections required. Third party verification (eg engineers producer statements) may also be required.

The COA will also be subject to section 97(e) fees,charges or levies that would have been payable had the owner, or the previous owner(s) applied for a building consent to carry out that work.