What to look for in a LIM Report

One of the most common questions our clients ask us during the conditional phase of a contract is for our opinion on their Land Information Memorandum (“LIM”) Report.

While this is understandable, we have not visited the property we so cannot verify any the information it contains.

Therefore we’ve put together a checklist of things to look for in your LIM report to help you make the best, most informed decision on this very common condition. But before we go into that, here is a quick refresher on what a LIM report actually is.

What is a LIM report?

A LIM report is a document created by the local council which summarises of all the information the council has on record about the property.

Some are very long, others are very brief, but all serve the same purpose: to give a potential buyer of a property more information about the property before deciding to follow through with the purchase.

What should I look for?

Read over the main part of the LIM a couple of times and check these things:

  • What building consents have been issued for the property?
  • Have all building consents been signed off and was a Code Compliance Certificate issued?
  • Is there mention of a history of flooding or land contamination?
  • Is there a wind or earthquake rating?
  • Are there any warnings?
  • Are there any notifications regarding neighbouring properties, roading or any other proposed development in the area?
  • What was the land previously used for?
  • What is the zoning?
  • Are there any unpaid rates or other Council fees?
  • Have there been any weather tightness issues reported?
  • Do any drainage pipes run underneath the property?
  • Have there been any drainage issues?

You’ve seen the property and you’ll pretty much know the buildings and other features on it.  If the property has any of these features:

  • Swimming pool
  • Retaining wall
  • Deck
  • Fireplace
  • Conservatory
  • Sheds
  • Any recent renovations

then you need to check that the property has the right permits and consents. If there are any differences between the property and the LIM, have a chat to the council and the vendor to try and get to the bottom of it.

Do I really need a LIM?

Whitmarsh Law always recommends getting a LIM as this is the safest way of ensuring you have all the information available to the council on the property you’re interested in. However some information found in a LIM report can be found in other ways.

For example, a LIM report will often include a copy of the title and deposited plan. At Whitmarsh Law we provide these to you as part of our initial reporting letter, so there is no need to see this again in the LIM.

Furthermore, the Hutt City Council and most other Councils have much of their property information online.

By using their Property Enquiry System

you are able to find out information about the land, such as what the current annual rates are for a property, what pipes (if any) run under a property, whether a property is in a tsunami risk zone, and lots of other information.

Their PublicView

search engine allows you to search for any building information relating to the property, such as consents for any alterations.

While not a substitute for a LIM, these tools allow you to do a lot of homework on a property and potentially leave the LIM report condition out of your offer, making it more attractive to a vendor.

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