Buyers and sellers of properties in the Rotorua Airshed must 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. Vendors must send the Regional Council a completed Compliance Form even if they are replacing a non-compliant burner prior to settlement. 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).
- Any wood burner installed before 1 September 2005 must be removed.
- Any wood burner installed illegally after 1 September 2005 i.e. Rotorua Lakes Council has not issued a Solid Fuel Burner Building Consent under the Building Act 2004.
- Chip heaters, Marshall Heaters, wood/coal cookers and ranges.
- Indoor open fires must be rendered inoperable.
I am selling a Rotorua Airshed property that has a solid fuel burner - what should I do?
Vendors must check if solid fuel burners are compliant or non-compliant (see list above) and make arrangements to remove non-complying burners 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 removes or replaces 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 to the Regional Council (see the link to the form below)
I am buying a Rotorua Airshed property that has a solid fuel burner - what should I do?
Ask the agent (or vendor) for a copy of its Solid Fuel Burner Building Consent. See if they can supply you with a copy of its Certificate of Compliance (issued by Rotorua Lakes Council). If they are able to produce a Code Compliance Certificate dated after 1 September 2005 you will know it is a compliant burner. The burner can remain in the property after the sale - you can use it and replace it. If the Agent/Vendor cannot provide you with a copy of the burner's consent, or, the date of the consent is before 1 September 2005 it must be removed. Also ask for a copy of the vendor's completed Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw Point of Sale Form.
Any coal burning appliances must be removed.
If you wish to replace the old burner with a new one, this must be negotiated with the vendor. The new burner must be lawfully installed before the settlement date.
You will be unable to install a new wood burner in the property after settlement without applying for a resource consent from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The resource consent has various requirements, the most significant being 'offsetting'. Find out more.
How to check the installation date of a burner
If you are unsure when a burner was installed, or if it was issued a Buidling Consent Code Compliance Certificate call Rotorua Lakes Council on 07 348 4199. Ask RLC for the date of the Code Compliance Certificate.
Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw Point of Sale Compliance Form
Rotorua air Quality Control Bylaw 2017