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).
In the first instance, as well as the full fee for processing the Certificate of Acceptance now, the applicant will also be required to pay any fees, charges or levies that would have been payable had the owner, or the previous owner(s) applied for for a building consent before carrying out the work.
It should be noted that under that the Council may only issue a certificate of acceptance if it is satisfied, to the best of its knowledge and belief, that the building work complied with the building code.
The fact that a certificate of acceptance can be issued does not relieve a person from the requirement to obtain a building consent for their building work. The Council has the ability to issue a notice to fix and to prosecute.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has useful information on Certificates of Acceptance.