Buildings occupied by businesses or those for public use must be certified as safe to use by the local council. If that hasn’t been done, how do you know those buttons on the elevator work? How do you know if there are enough fire escapes? How do you know the electrical systems aren’t going to shock someone? Or that the roof won’t cave in? The answer is quite simple: you don’t, says Rosie Killip, director at compliance specialists Building Networks
There’s no assurance at all and that leaves your business horribly exposed. And experience shows that most business owners just don’t know if their building has a Code Compliance Certificate, and that has implications for safety, insurance and legal liability.
It is essential to check for the Code Compliance Certificate particularly if moving in after a renovation, a new build or after the last tenant moved on. It confirms the building consent was finished.
A frank and direct speaker, Killip is presenting at the Facilities Integrate expo taking place at the ASB Showgrounds in September. Her topic is ‘The Danger for PCBUs of Occupying a Building Without a CCC’. PCBUs are ‘Person Conducting a Business Undertaking’ and a CCC is a Code Compliance Certificate.
Trusting a contractor or letting agent is insufficient. If someone says you do or don’t have enough fire escape signs or that your alarm is obsolete and needs replacing, how do you verify that information? Ask for legal proof.
The CCC confirms that building work is completed in accordance with the approved Building Consent documents and that the building complies with the Building Code. A CCC is issued by a Building Consent Authority as a requirement under section 95 of the Building Act 2004.
The CCC is issued based on inspections undertaken during and at the end of construction, plus documents such as electrician certificates, etc. and only when the Council is satisfied that building work is completed and compliant, the final inspection is passed, and any specified systems for the building are capable of performing.
The absence of a CCC is not an uncommon problem. Anecdotally, it happens more often than not. Most of those organising new offices just don’t ask about it because they are blissfully unaware of the requirement. If it’s a public area, they will need a temporary certificate for public use.
And landlords? Getting the CCC is an overhead and if there isn’t any demand from tenants, many landlords will simply overlook it. Not out of malice or negligence, but just because there is no good reason for them to invest time and effort into taking care of paperwork when tenants aren’t insisting on it.
The absence of a CCC has health and safety implications. It has implications for insurances, too, as you might find your policies specify a compliant building as a condition of cover. And it can have legal implications should someone suffer injury or loss as the result of non-compliant systems or facilities.
There is a duty on both sides of the deal. As a tenant, look past the flash paint job and fresh new carpets and insist on a CCC, particularly where there has been new building work. As a landlord, understand that having your CCC for consented building works is a legal requirement which, if ignored, could come back to bite you.
An engaging speaker, Killip will share more insights and take questions at Facilities Integrate. The trade-only event takes place 25 – 26 September 2019 at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland.
Attendance is free for all registrations prior to midnight 23 September. Tickets for those registering after this date are priced at $25. For more information or to register your interest, visit https://www.facilitiesintegrate.nz/.