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How To Read a LIM

 

A LIM (stands for Land Information Memorandum) is a report you order from the Council and gives you all sorts of juicy info about a property, like building consents, what the land has been previously used for, and its zoning.  If you’re looking at buying a property you should get a LIM and make your purchase conditional on being happy with it.

If you’ve checked out a LIM report before, you’ll know that LIMs aren’t the easiest of documents to read, and they can be really long too.  So grab some highlighter pens and some post-its, and follow these 5 steps to make sense of your LIM:

Step 1:  Make sure you’re reading a current LIM report

Sometimes the vendor of a property will have an old LIM report lying around and they might give it to you to read.  By all means, give it a quick squiz, but make sure you order an up to date LIM and read that too as LIMs get out of date super quick.  Don’t rely on the old LIM.

Step 2:  Read the summary pages at the start

Sometimes potential red flags are pretty obvious from reading the summary pages.  If you see anything that seems weird, highlight it and tab the page with a post-it.

Step 3:  Get stuck into the main part of the LIM

Read over the main part of the LIM a couple of times.  Check these things:

  • What consents have been issued for the property?
  • Have all consents been signed off and was there a code of compliance issued?
  • Is there mention of a history of flooding?
  • 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?

Remember to highlight anything that seems a bit strange.

Step 4:  Use what you know about the property to help you

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 for these things.  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.

Step 5:  Ask your lawyer to review the LIM for you

Yep, paying a lawyer can be a pain, but for many of us buying a property will be our biggest investment, so now is not the time to scrimp on getting legal advice.  Your lawyer will be able to talk to you about any of the issues you’ve highlighted as well as any other issues they notice.  This will give you peace of mind that you’ve properly done your homework on the property.

And then…..

You need to have a serious think about whether any problems highlighted by the LIM could affect the way you use and enjoy the property, and the value of the property down the track.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is general information only and must not be relied on as legal advice. Legal Beagle is not a law firm or a substitute for a law firm. We are unable to provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defences, options, selection of legal documents or strategies. 

 

 

 

Join the Discussion

  • Leon Chapman 05/05/2016 9:37am (3 years ago)

    The Council refuses to state on the LIM Report if the property is subject to Mana Whana conditions. This means that the property is within a certain distance of a site of historical interest and Resource consent issues may mean paying and "bribing" up to 17 Iwi in Auckland. SO BE AWARE as Real Estate Agents are also not disclosing this fact to buyers

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