When your buying your first home (or any property) you may wonder why you being told to order a LIM report.
A LIM (stands for Land Information Memorandum) is a report from the Council and gives you all sorts of juicy info about the 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 By all means, give it a quick squiz, but make sure you order an up to date LIM and read that too as LIMs get out of date super quick.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:
-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 us 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. We 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.
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. And we are always here to offer advice and help mitigate any potential risks.