A prospective first home buyer is fuming over the extra cost of procuring a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) Report from Auckland Council on an urgent basis.

A LIM report from the local Councils is often considered one of the most critical pieces of information that experts recommend every prospective buyer to obtain and get it reviewed by a property law expert.

Councils hold critical information about all properties that generally slips from the plain eyes such as potential erosion, subsidence or slippage, flooding, private and public stormwater, and sewerage drains, resource planning consents and rates, including any overdue rates.

There is indeed a cost that Councils incur in procuring and compiling this report and making it available to the clients – a cost that is often considered necessary as the cost of insurance that covers any potential risks and gives peace of mind.

However, one perspective first home buyer, who has spoken with the Indian Weekender on the condition of anonymity, is unhappy with the extra $106 that she had to bear for Urgent LIM report on top of the normal $304 required for a Standard LIM report.

“It is not just about $106!

“I am unhappy because I felt that I had been misled and my nerves were played-up, by the information presented in the Auckland Council website, so as to make me choose the expensive option, rather than opting for just a Standard Report,” Mrs Thomas (name changed) said. 

Image for reference only (Source: Housing NZ)

According to Auckland Council website, the service of Standard LIM is charged at $304 and is mentioned to take up to 10 working days (does not include delivery) whereas the Urgent LIM is charged at $410 and is promised to be delivered in up to 3 working days (does not include delivery).

“I understand that the Council has to incur a cost in producing and delivering the report. I also understand that someone requesting an urgent service is required to pay extra.

“However, what I do not agree with is the lack of information around the exact delivery times of the two reports on the website so as to give enough options to customers to compare and evaluate before making an informed choice,” said a visibly agitated Mrs Thomas.

“We are a first home buyer-couple on a tight budget, and just recently our offer on a property got accepted, giving us ten working days to clear finances.

“By the time we reached to the point of making the decision to apply for a LIM report, we had already past three working days.

“Given with stark choices of taking the risk of applying for the Standard Report and waiting for ten working days or going for Urgent Report and getting it done in 3 working days, we were naturally anxious and chose the latter,”

“I have asked my husband to apply for the online version, which he did on a Sunday night, and to our surprise, we received the report before 9 a.m. on Monday morning.”

“While initially, we felt delighted by receiving the report quickly as we realised we were at least making some progress, however, subsequently it began to sink in that we could have chosen the cheaper option and still be able to receive the report within a reasonable time and save our valuable $104 at this crucial time where we are counting our every penny,” Mrs Thomas said.

“It just did not feel right.

Image for reference only (Source: Newzealandnow.govt.nz)

“The council should either charge for a service ethically or layout the information on its website in a manner that removes any doubts and uncertainty,” Mrs Thomas said.

“If the Council website says that a Standard LIM Report can take up to 10 working days and which does not including delivery time, then it clearly means that the report needs to be prepared within that given timeframe.

“Similarly, when the website says that an Urgent LIM Report can take up to 3-4 working days without including delivery time, then it means that that much time is required to prepare the report.

“However, the manner we received our report – within a couple of hours - it clearly showed that the report was sitting there at the computer and not prepared.”

“It feels a rip off as I could have also chosen the cheaper option if I had the knowledge that an already prepared report was sitting there in the computer and all is required is to choose the method of delivery,” Mrs Thomas said.

Meanwhile, responding to the Indian Weekender’s query, Auckland Council has said that the delivery of the urgent service within three days is an “exception.”

Ian McCormick, General Manager Building Consents, Auckland Council, told the Indian Weekender that the Councils have a legislative requirement to issues LIM reports within ten working days. However, they have an internal service where they offer a three day urgent (not including delivery time) service.

“If a customer wants a LIM report quickly then we offer the urgent service, which pulls together the LIM report with-in three working days. If a customer receives a standard LIM report within three days, it is an exception. Our ability to deliver a standard LIM within this timeframe will be dependent on a number of factors including the number of application in progress at the time. This number fluctuates from day to day,” Mr McCormick said.