What happens if you build without a building consent

Find out about the penalties you might face if you start building work without an approved building consent.


Potential penalties for building without a consent

If your project needs a resource consent and you start work without one, or you don’t comply with your building consent, you’re committing an offence.

The work you do without a build consent won’t qualify for a Code Compliance Certificate. This will make it difficult to sell the building and get insurance.

If we learn that you’re building without a consent, we may require you to:

  • apply for a building consent or an amendment to an existing building consent
  • immediately stop the building work, and not start again without our permission
  • immediately stop the building work, and demolish the building work already undertaken.

You may be issued with an infringement notice and be liable for an infringement fee.

You may also be prosecuted and could be liable for a fine up to $200,000 and the removal of the building work.


How to avoid penalties

Get a pre-application meeting

You can book a pre-application meeting with us to talk about your proposed building work before you submit a building consent application.

A pre-application meeting can save you time and money in the long run.

Book a pre-application meeting.

Get professional help

Building consent applications can be very complex. Depending on the project, they might need a lot of technical detail too. We recommend that you use a planning consultancy, surveyor or architect to apply for a building consent on your behalf. We can help you find the right people.


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