Change the use of a building

An owner of a building must not change the use of a building unless written notification is provided to Council about the change and Council is satisfied that the new use will comply with the building code.

If you want to change the use of your building, or part of it, you will need to let us know. This is a requirement under Section 115 of the Building Act 2004.

You cannot make the proposed change until the council gives the owner written confirmation that the requirements of the Building Act have been complied with.

The requirements will vary.  Council will need to be satisfied that the building in its new use will comply with the Building Code as near as reasonably practicable (also known as ANARP). The parts of the Building Code which need to be complied with will depend on the change of use. Often a building consent will be required.

If you make the change without advising the council you could be liable for a fine.

Every building is designed for a specific use and has to meet Building Code requirements that ensure it will be safe, healthy and durable when used in the way it was designed. If that use changes, the building may need to be altered to support the new use.

To determine if the building is a change of use, refer to Sections 5, 6 and Schedule 2 of Building Regulations 2005 (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) for use of all or parts of the building, on the New Zealand Legislation website.

Find out more

More information regarding change, including examples, of use can be found on the MBIE website.