To ensure transparency, Auckland Council will be disclosing Category 2 and Category 3 properties on LIMs for storm damaged properties.
The disclosure is based on the council’s legal responsibility under section s44A(3) of the Local Government (Official Information and Meetings) Act 1987.
“The fact that a property is uninhabitable or requires mitigation to reduce the risk to life caused by storm damage is important information, so there is an expectation it should appear on the LIM alongside other relevant council data,” says Mace Ward Deputy Group Recovery Manager.
A LIM or Land Information Memorandum is a report the council prepares when a member of the public requests it. Different council departments disclose information they have on file for a property, which council collates to produce an overall property summary for a specific address. Information includes hazard mapping for the property’s location.
“The public needs to have faith that the LIM they’ve requested provides transparency on issues affecting the property. It is a legal document that people trust to fulfil their due diligence for property purchase or development and to help inform significant decisions. We have a legal responsibility to disclose, but we also have a moral obligation to provide complete information when property data is requested,” says Mr Ward.
Frequently asked questions
NEW (15/11): How are LIMs and property files used?
People considering purchasing a property carry out due diligence to assist in their decision-making process. Two sources of information are the Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and the property file, both of which are held by council.
NEW (15/11): What is the difference between a LIM and Property File
A LIM contains a summary of certain information that council holds about the property. It includes information about building/resource consents, rates, building plans and whether the property (or a building on it) has a particular status such as an historic place designation. A LIM contains information on zoning issues and utilities. It identifies, for example, flood plains, areas of erosion or subsidence and other hazards. LIMs currently note if a property is Category 2 or 3. With a few exceptions, documents that can be found on a property file, such as correspondence or reports, are not generally attached to a LIM.
Property files include information and documents held by the council that relate to a property. The property file includes full copies of resource consents and building consents (and original plans), rather than just the summary found in a LIM. Included is correspondence with the council about the property, including correspondence relating to categorisation. Also included are any reports or site assessments of the property.
NEW (15/11): How to order a LIM or property file?
Members of the public can place an order with Auckland Council for a LIM or property file for any Auckland property address. Our website explains the process for ordering a LIM and also ordering a property file.
Why are categories disclosed on LIMs?
Auckland Council has completed onsite assessments for these properties to determine the risk to life in the event of future landslide or flooding events. Category 2P/2C properties need interventions to make the property safe and Category 3 properties are considered uninhabitable.
How will Category 2 and 3 properties be recorded on the LIM?
The exact wording is not yet confirmed. However, the LIM will note that the property is Category 2 or 3, and include an explanation of the categories, and advice for people seeking additional information.
How long do categories 2 and 3 stay on the LIM for?
Categorisation would no longer be noted on LIMs once relevant council actions are completed for your property (for example a buyout), or the scheme otherwise comes to an end.
What type of information shows on the property file for Category 2 and Category 3 properties?
The property file would disclose all relevant information, including:
- The categorisation (the letter to the owner notifying this)
- Correspondence or notices relevant to a disputes process for the Category 3 buyout scheme, and/or the allocated property category
- Other documents such as technical reports/site assessments.
Why are Category 1 properties not disclosed on the LIM?
Category 1 properties have been identified as low risk, and there will be no council or government intervention or contribution under the categorisation scheme.
Where is information about Category 1 properties kept?
The property file includes all documents related to a property, including documents and correspondence relating to categorisation of properties.
Do Category 1 properties have a flooding or landslide assessment?
There is unlikely to be a site assessment for the purpose of categorisation on the property file. If there is a site assessment, then it would confirm the property was low risk when assessed.
Are there any risks associated with Category 1 properties and if so, how do you find them?
Council information on natural hazards is disclosed on LIMs. Other sources of information include the property file and, where relevant, a s74 notice on the property title.