LIM – Land Information Memorandum

A LIM is a Land Information Memorandum. A LIM is issued by the relevant city council and contains important council information relating to the property.

A LIM is one important component of due diligence helping you make a decision on whether to purchase a property or not.  We recommend obtaining a LIM with every residential property purchase, and making it a condition in the sale and purchase agreement. The LIM will contain varied information depending on the respective land and its use. The main areas of information for a residential property are:

  • resource and subdivision consents, including resource consents for the neighbourhood.
  • Rateable valuation data, rates and water charges
  • Building Permits, consents and certificates previously issued by council
  • Any current requisitions issued by the council on the property
  • Drainage information
  • District Plan information – Protected buildings and trees, zoning
  • Special land features – soil contamination, wind and flood zones, erosion.

What is critical?

In terms of making a decision to purchase the property there are 3 main things to look at:

Requisitions

  1. These are the first and most important things to look for on a LIM. Requisitions are recorded requests to take action to remedy a land or building related issue that is currently not compliant.  Requisitions on the LIM need to be addressed. First look to see how costly the requisition could be to remedy. In some cases you may need to go back to the vendor to renegotiate.

Building permits/consents/certificates

Check that all applicable permits (pre 1993), consents (post 1993) and Code compliance certificates (CCC) have been issued for the original dwelling and any additions/alterations. If there are works that do not have a permit and are relating to pre 1993 (this is very common), there is no requirement to get a permit or CCC retrospectively. Instead, a certified builder inspects the work and if he deems it safe and sanitary he issues a report stating this. This report sits on the property’s file at council. A safe and sanitary report is optional to obtain to update the property’s file and is not a requirement by council.

Land Features

Check that there are no known land issues with the property – one of the most common being whether the property is in a flood zone. Depending on the nature of the site, other things that may be applicable are soil contamination, alluvion (silt deposits from flooding) and erosion/slippage.

A LIM needs to be ordered as soon as a sale and purchase agreement has been signed by both parties. Councils legally have up 10 working days to provide.

You as the buyer should always read the LIM. It is also the role of your solicitor to read the LIM.  We always recommend obtaining a building inspection report on the property to go hand in hand with the LIM. A building inspection report may highlight alterations/additions/issues of non-compliance that are not on the LIM. (Remember the LIM is limited only to those things that council knows about). This then gives you an opportunity to investigate any potential non-compliance issues with council.

Published on Monday, October 18th, 2010, under Buying Property

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