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The review of red stickered notices
Section 124 Building Act notice
Q: My home or a building I own has a red sticker notice under section 124 of the Building Act on it, what rights do I have?
A: If you own a home or building that has been given a red sticker notice under section 124 of the Building Act you have the following rights:
You are entitled to know exactly which condition of the building caused the notice to be issued. This includes:
If you receive a section 124 notice you can ask the council to say on what basis it has issued the notice. The building must be one of:
- dangerous, or
- earthquake prone, or
- unsanitary; or
- some combination of all three of these conditions.
You have the right to ask the council to provide this information. If it is not clear which of these conditions was the trigger for issuing the red sticker you can ask the council to cancel the notice.
The information you receive from Council should make if clear why the decision to issue a red sticker was made. You have the right to have enough information from the council so that you can decide for yourself whether the information the council had about your building’s condition made it reasonable to issue the red-sticker notice.
Once the reason that the council has given the building a red sticker is clear, then the building owner can dispute whether this condition actually exists. This is a matter of proof: in other words, is there enough information about the building or the surrounding buildings/area for it to be reasonable for the council to have reached its conclusion about the building’s condition?
Proper use of legislation
If the council says that the building is dangerous, you have the right to ask how this fits with the Building Act’s definition of what a dangerous building is.
Section 121 of the Building Act outlines what makes a building dangerous] .The most likely reasons for a building to be labelled dangerous are:
- The risk of the building collapsing or causing injury or death in an earthquake that is less than a moderate earthquake or
- The a risk that nearby buildings or land could collapse (including rock fall, landslip, cliff collapse, or subsidence) or cause injury or death to anyone in the building; or
- A territorial authority [link to glossary] (such as the council or a district council) has not been able to inspect the building to see whether the building is dangerous.
If it is decided that the building is earthquake prone you have the right to find out whether the Building Act’s definition of an earthquake prone building has been met.
Section 122 of the Building Act explains what it means when a building is said to be earthquake prone. Click here to see Section 122 in detail.
- If it is decided that the building is insanitary you have the right to find out whether the Building Act’s definition of an insanitary building has been met.
Section 123 of the Building Act explains what it means when a building is said to be insanitary, Click here to see section 123 in detail.
Who pays for work on red stickered buildings?
If the council asks you to pay the cost of any work carried out by the council on your building, you have the right to dispute this.
Section 124(1)(c)(iii)(B) of the Building Act gives building owners an avenue for disputing liability for the cost of any work carried out by the territorial authority (such as the Council) under Section. 124(1) (c) of the Building Act.
- Owners have a right to seek a determination (final decision) from the Chief Executive of the Department of Building and Housing about the section 124 notice. The Chief Executive has the power to agree, cancel or change the decision to give the notice.
Section 124 does not say what happens if the owner wants to argue whether the work needs to be done. However section 177 of the Building Act says that the owner can ask the Chief Executive of the Department of Building and Housing for a decision about the notice. The Chief Executive has the power to agree, cancel, or change the decision or an order it has made or; the matter to which it relates. The Chief Executive’s decision is final for the people concerned, subject to any appeal.
You have the right to appeal the decision of the Chief Executive of the Department of Building and Housing to the Department of Building and Housing.
You may also appeal to the district court against the decision of the Chief Executive.
Section 182 of the Building Act says that you have to get a determination before you can go to the District or High Court except for when an injunction is sought.
As well as the rights explained above the owner also has the right to ask the council its reasons for making the decision.
In effect there are two avenues to seek reason for a council decision about a red sticker notice:
- The Building Act
- The Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA)