Draft Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy 2020 adopted
At the Hearing and Deliberations meeting on 9 September 2020 the Council considered all written feedback from the community on the draft Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy. The Council adopted the policy at the same meeting and it will come into effect on 1 October 2020.
The Council made the following comments in relation to feedback received on the draft Policy:
- Council staff do not routinely check the state of every building in the district because there is not an ongoing issue with dangerous and insanitary buildings. Assessing all buildings would take considerable time and money and the cost would outweigh the potential benefits. Most (if not all) councils take a ‘reactionary approach’ to inspections. This means Council staff will continue to inspect buildings if a complaint is received from a community member or staff have concerns about a building.
- The Building Act 2004 states owners of buildings containing “specified systems” relating to health and safety (e.g. fire system, lifts), must have a Compliance Schedule and produce annual Building Warrant of Fitness documents verifying these specified systems have been looked after and kept in good working order. If dangerous or insanitary conditions are noticed during these checks the Council would be notified.
- Council staff will issue a formal notice for the building to be fixed, and if necessary vacated, if the work is urgent. Urgent work is work needed to save or protect life or health, or prevent serious damage to property. If the work is non-urgent officers can use discretion to use a more ‘user-friendly’ approach. The officer would discuss options to fix the building with the owner without issuing a formal notice.
- Formal records are kept of all compliance and enforcement action
About our Policy
Our Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy outlines our approach to identifying and inspecting potentially dangerous or insanitary buildings. It also explains the enforcement approach to be taken if buildings need to be fixed.
An example of a dangerous building is where an internal load bearing wall has been removed or there are inadequate fire systems in place. An example of an insanitary building is where there is no supply of drinking water or there are inadequate wastewater disposal systems.
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