IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS OF ROTORUA AIRSHED PROPERTIES
Buyers and sellers of properties in the Rotorua Airshed need to be mindful of solid fuel burner (appliances that burn wood or coal) regulations under the Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw. Before buying or selling a property it is critical to check any solid fuel burners to determine if they are compliant or non-compliant. It's extremely important to carry out due-diligence before buying or selling a property as the penalties are significant.
Vendors are required to complete (and submit) a Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw Point of Sale Compliance Form if there are any solid fuel burners in the property. The penalty for not submitting a Point of Sale Compliance Form (and breaching the Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw) is a fine up to $20,000.
How do I know if an appliance is compliant or non-compliant?
The following list of non-compliant solid fuel burners must be removed before a transfer of ownership:
- Any appliance that can burn coal (for example multi-fuel and coal burners). These appliances are non-compliant (regardless of their installation date).
- Chip heaters, Marshall Heaters, wood/coal cookers and ranges. These have been illegal to light and use since 28 February 2019. These must all be removed before a transfer of ownership.
- Indoor open fires must be rendered inoperable before a transfer of ownership.
- Any wood burners that were installed BEFORE 1 September 2005 must be removed (or replaced). The crucial thing is their installation date.
I am selling a Rotorua Airshed property that has a solid fuel burner - what should I do?
Vendors cannot sell a property in the Rotorua Airshed with an appliance that burns wood or coal that is non-compliant (see list above). Non-complying wood burners need to be removed (or replaced) prior to the transfer of ownership. Vendors are legally obliged to remove non-compliant appliances but are not under any obligation to replace them before selling. If a vendor decides to replace a solid fuel burner prior to selling it is a legal requirement that they complete (and submit) a Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw Point of Sale Compliance Form. The same applies if a vendor is only removing a non-compliant solid fuel burner. See below for a copy of the form and details of what must be attached to the form i.e. a copy of the Certificate of Compliance.
I am buying a Rotorua Airshed property that has a solid fuel burner - what should I do?
If there is a wood burner in the property you need to ask for a copy of its Certificate of Compliance (issued by Rotorua Lakes Council) and for a copy of the vendor's completed Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw Point of Sale Form. Check the wood burner's date of installation. If the date of installation was before 1 September 2005 the wood burner is non-compliant and you need to ensure that the vendor funds its removal. Don't accept anyone telling you otherwise. If there are any coal burning appliances they must be removed as well. Completed Point of Sale Forms ensure purchasers have 6-months access to a 10 year, interest-free rate (loan) scheme to replace heating. No form - no loan.
How to check the installation date of a burner
If you are unsure when a burner was installed call Rotorua Lakes Council on 07 348 4199 and ask for information regarding the solid fuel burner Building Consent for the wood burner. Ask them for the installation date of the burner. Wood burners installed after 1 September 2005 should be compliant.
Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw Point of Sale Compliance Form
Rotorua air Quality Control Bylaw 2017