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  1. #1

    Default Unconsented Conversion: From Laundry to Bathroom

    I am a hopeful first time home buyer in Auckland, and in the past month I have read the Property Talk NZ forum intensively, and learned a great deal. This is my first time posting, and I thank all the experts here in advance for your replies. I truly appreciate your time and expertise. My question involves an unconsented conversion from laundry room to bathroom. I have searched both in this forum and on Google, with a variety of keywords, and I have not found any similar thread / situation. (Maybe I could not recognize the similarities because I am a newbie. All I can guess is that this is much less serious than the "garage to minor dwelling" illegal conversion that's been dealt with a few times here.)

    I am considering a property (Te Atatu South, 3 bedroom, built in 1950's) for personal use. Both the Barfoot and TradeMe webpages cite 1 bathroom, while the floor plan and photos clearly show 2 bathrooms. The agent revealed that one of the bathrooms was converted from a laundry room without permit. The laundry is relocated to the basement. The house will be sold as is, and the Conditions of Sale will include a clause stating this.

    My questions are:

    (i) If I buy this house as is, and use both bathrooms in the usual way, what are the consequences? E.g., any implication to house insurance?

    (ii) If I want to remedy this (e.g. to make my future sale more transparent), what are the steps? I am guessing I need a Certificate of Acceptance, and maybe a professional to prove compliance with Building Act? I want to estimate the cost and hassle involved.

    Again, many thanks to the experts here in advance.

  2. #2


    Maybe the agent cant count?
    have you checked the property file? perhaps the issue is that council lost the records of approved work (if pre 1992?)

    You don't need a consent if the plumbing work doesn't increase the number of sanitary facilities. but it sounds like this total may have increased but perhaps the work was done pre 1992??

    if so a CoA is not strictly possible as this is only available to building work that required 'building consent' (which came in after Building Act 1991)

    Auckland accept Safe and sanitary reports for pre 1992 work and this is the most cost effctive approach and allows you to update the property file with the report. it is just the cost of the report and a third party report scanning fee.(175).

    A plumber might be the best person to advise whether work is satisfactory before you buy.

    There shouldn't be insurance issues unless building work causes a fire or damage This is a grey area and often subject of misinformed comment. get electrics checked out by electrician if you are concerned?

    We make too much of the permit issue The real issue is the condition of the plumbing now not that it might have been acceptable or approved 50 Years ago?

  3. #3


    Hi John, Many thanks for your speedy and informative reply. We just came back from viewing this house. The agent informed us that the conversion was done in the past 1-2 years, which means it should have obtained consent. So the way to remedy it is with a CoA. However, we didn't like other aspects of the house, so will be closing the case on this one. I learned something though.

  4. #4


    Hi John,
    I am at the moment in a similar situation as menin was when you helped them. I liked a house, which was 3+2+2 as per plan n all but actual house has 3+2.5+0. i.e. they have added a WC and converted garage-n-laundry into a rumpus + study + Laundry.

    I checked with council, they are ok with garage conversion into rumpus as far as it does not mean extra construction and i was satisfied that i ll not land into trouble with council on this one. How about the extra WC? being an additional sanitary facility, they should have sorted out CoA for this one but they have not.

    Now I am asking them to give me the invoices etc from plumber so that later on I can proove that it was done by an authorised plumber by earlier owner even if it was not consented.

    will this suffice or you would rather suggest i let go of this one and be in momentary uncertainity now rather than landing up in a bigger one later on?

  5. #5


    answer on your other thread.

    youdidnt need consent for the laundry conversion but if laundry moved and this increased fixtures then this might need consent as with akltechie

    i would not go doewn CoA way and a consent for the work as if it wasnt done is a better option and replace the fixture or say it is being moved?


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