A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) is a document prepared by the Council to help provide useful information to those buying or selling property. A buyer will gain additional information, which might help their decision making process; a seller might benefit by being better equipped to answer questions from potential buyers.
The information covered within a LIM is normally more detailed than what can be viewed on a property file alone. It includes checks by various Council departments and aims to tell you what you might want to know before buying a property.
Key things to note:
As a purchaser your lawyer may also offer to order the LIM report on your behalf.
LIMs are a great tool in assisting buyers to feel confident about the property they are looking to buy - and it greatly assists them to be in a more unconditional position when it comes to offering
If an offer is conditional upon the purchaser obtaining and checking the LIM for the property this condition may be up to 15 working days (3 weeks)
LIMs can take between 3 and 5 working days
Currently a 3-day report costs $347.00 inclusive; 5-day $295.00
Here is a link that explains what a LIM is and how to order one:
If you’re a landlord in New Zealand wanting to avoid a $4,000 fine, it’s time to make sure your rental property meets the insulation regulations.
What all landlords need to know:
Insulation is compulsory in all Kiwi rental homes from 1 July 2019.
Ceiling and underfloor insulation must be installed, where reasonably practicable.
Failing to meet the insulation regulations is considered an unlawful act.
You could face a penalty of up to $4,000.
All new tenancy agreements must include an insulation statement.
Wall insulation is not compulsory.
If you’re not sure whether your rental property is insulated, or you’re not positive that the insulation is up to scratch, now is the time to check.
Talk to your property manager about the insulation regulations, as they’ll be very familiar with these, and able to organise the checks and any work that’s required to ensure the property is compliant. If you already know your insulation needs replacing and need more information on how to do this, visit your local Bunnings store or read more here.
How can I tell if my insulation meets the regulations?
First thing’s first – is the house insulated at all? Landlords (or property managers) can check this by physically looking in the property’s ceiling cavity and underfloor area, hiring a professional to do an assessment, or by checking the council building file.
If there’s no insulation at all, you’ll need to install insulation that complies with the regulations.
If the place is insulated, this should be at least 70mm thick.
If the insulation is less than 70mm thick, you’ll need to top it up with additional insulation in order to comply with the regulations that come into force on 1 July 2019.
If the insulation is 70mm or thicker, you’re good to go, assuming the insulation remains in reasonable condition. This means there are no gaps or spots missing (except around lights and other heat sources), and no defects, such as insulation that is wet or damp.
If you’re installing new or top-up insulation, it’s a good idea to aim for 120mm in thickness, in order to future-proof the home and meet the 2021 Healthy Homes Standards.
If the house’s underfloor insulation is foil insulation, this is okay, as long as the top surface is still shiny and there are no rips, gaps or damage. If the foil is damaged, it needs to be replaced with another insulation product. Remember, there’s a risk of electrocution with foil, so turn the power off before touching it or hire a professional.
If you’re unsure about the thickness or state of the home’s insulation, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional insulation installer, or ask your property manager for advice.
What does “reasonably practicable to install” mean? Is my rental home exempt?
The design or construction constraints of some properties mean it’s not reasonably practicable to install insulation, making these homes exempt from the rules.
According to Tenancy Services, examples of the types of properties that would meet the exception criteria are:
Apartments where there is a habitable space above and below the apartment.
Houses constructed on concrete slabs where it is not feasible to install underfloor insulation.
Houses with skillion roofs where there is no ceiling in place to install insulation above.
There are also some access exemptions, which is when an experienced professional insulation installer can’t access the location to install insulation without:
removing any cladding or lining.
carrying out other substantial building work.
causing substantial damage to the house.
If the insulation can be installed with only some minor work required, like temporarily removing baseboards from the exterior of the property to access the underfloor, then you’ve still got to install insulation.
If your rental property ticks one of these exemption boxes, it’s important to keep this in mind when planning any future work to the home. If a change is made that allows insulation to be fitted, then the landlord must do so as soon as reasonably practicable. For example, if the home is exempt because it has a skillion roof, and then a new roof is installed down the line, you’ll be expected to fit insulation.
If you think your place qualifies for an exemption, talk to an experienced professional insulation installer and, if needed, a builder. Ask for written confirmation that outlines the reasons the home is exempt, and include this in future tenancy agreements for tenants to be aware of and understand.
If you plan to demolish or substantially rebuild all or part of the house within 12 months of the start of a tenancy, the property can also be exempt. The landlord must be able to provide evidence of having applied for the necessary resource consent and/or building consent for the redevelopment or building work.
What if I’m not compliant by 1 July 2019?
If you fail to meet the regulations by the deadline, you’ll be in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act. You’ll face a penalty of up to $4,000, which is usually paid to the tenant. If you own more than one rental property, you may face separate damages for each home that doesn’t comply.
Preparing for the Healthy Homes Standards
The Healthy Homes Standards will include additional requirements for insulation, which will take effect from 1 July 2021.
According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Healthy Homes Standards aim to make a significant change to the quality of Kiwi rental homes. The standards will cover heating, insulation and ventilation, as well as moisture ingress, drainage and draught stopping.
It’s a good idea for landlords to read up on these new standards before planning any work to a rental property, in order to future-proof the home and be sure that any work you do today will help you meet these new standards in 2021.
Where can I go for more information?
Visit your local Bunnings. Bunnings have a range of ceiling, wall and underfloor insulation and can help you organise delivery and installation.
Wondering if the "bright-line" test applies to your residential property sale?
In New Zealand we don't have a Capital Gains Tax (CGT). In fact it's been ruled out by the current government. However there is a form of capital gains tax on profits made if you "flip" a property with the intention of making a profit on the purchase/sale - this was extended from two to five years in 2018.
The bright-line test DOES NOT APPLY if the property was:
your main home
transferred as part of an inheritance
transferred to you as an executor/ administrator of a deceased estate.
If you're selling a residential property and your intention when you purchased the property was to re-sell it, then you MAY have tax to pay on any PROFIT you make from its resale.
If a property was purchased on or after 1 October 2015 through to 28 March 2018, the bright-line test will look at whether the property was sold within 2 years.
If you entered into an agreement to purchase residential property on or after 29 March 2018 and sell it within 5 years, you’ll need to consider if it is taxable under the bright-line test.
The tax you pay depends on four things:
Your intent when you purchased.
Your history of buying and selling.
Whether you're in or associated with the property industry.
Whether you buy and sell a property within five years (two years if the property was purchased on or after 1 October 2015 through to 28 March 2018 inclusive).
It's your intention when buying a property that matters.
Nearly everyone buying a property will sell it at some stage. Most people will hope that their property will gain in value, and we know that an increase in value is common. However, this alone isn't enough for any profits to be taxed.
In most cases you don't have to pay tax on the eventual sale of your family home.
If you bought a property as a long-term rental, then you probably won't have to pay tax on the sale either.
However, when a property has been bought with the firm intention of resale you'll have to pay tax on any profit from the sale. The intention to sell does not need to be the main reason for buying the property - it could be one of a number of reasons for buying.
Your history of buying and selling counts
If you have a pattern of buying and selling property, then you may be a property dealer and may have to pay tax when you sell property, even on your family home.
If you're unsure whether you're a property dealer, you should seek advice from your tax advisor.