Tiny homes in NZ are more popular than ever. They’ve gone from being something of a novelty to mainstream and viable housing options thanks to the overheated real estate market. Demand for our tiny homes is growing as a result, and we can provide a housing solution that is more affordable than just about everything else on the market.
The need to find a place to live compelled one East Coast woman to invest in a tiny home. A story in the local newspaper said that skyrocketing house and rental prices in the Gisborne region made tiny housing the only affordable option for her, and this is something we see with many of our own clients. In the case of the East Coast buyer, the tiny home was purchased at a good price and placed on a family member’s section. But in their rush to procure their small home, they forgot to ensure the building was compliant with the local council. Sadly, it wasn’t and the home sits currently empty and stranded and its owner has to cough up thousands of dollars to make it compliant.
This just goes to show that even when a home is a tiny or transportable one, it is not exempt from the rules and regulations that surround all buildings. The Building Act is a huge act that covers all of the relevant legislation and tiny homes have to measure up just like full-sized homes.
When it comes to council consent, if your single-storey building is less than 30 square metres and has no plumbing, it simply needs to comply with regulations. Outside of that, a building fixed to the land requires consent. The landowner has the ultimate legal responsibility to ensure compliance. With a prefab building, it's possible to get a building consent ex-factory, with onsite consents arranged separately.
It’s rarely black and white when it comes to consent. Just because a tiny home is small, that doesn’t mean it will evade the sights of the local council if they have any doubts about it. Our advice is to work with the council and not against them. When you find a design you like, contact the council and check what you will need to do to make it compliant. And given our experience, you are always welcome to get in touch with us and ask for our advice. However, the word from the council is always final so it’s essential that you contact them before making a smart investment in your tiny home.