Couple cop fine for illegal building work

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A Manukau couple has been fined $12,000 for carrying out extensive building works without a building consent.
Property owners Macsood Hussain and Sudheshni Chetty pleaded guilty at the Manukau District Court to offences under the Building Act.

In early 2008 an inspection of the property at Christmas Road, Manurewa, revealed extensive building works under way. However, the owners had never applied to the council for consent for the works.

The unconsented building additions involved the excavation of more than 200 cu m of earth, and the construction of a concrete block basement, concrete floor slab, timber retaining walls, timber decks and exterior stairs.
Manukau City Council environmental operations group manager Carole Todd says the council is pleased with the outcome and the penalties that were handed out.

Dangerous

In sentencing, Manukau District Court Judge Blackie noted that the building works were significant and dangerous at the time of the council’s inspection.
The judge also observed that Mr Hussain is a qualified architect, but he did not obtain proper consents, and the dwelling was at serious risk of collapse.

“People should come and see us first before starting any building project. Owners should remember they are responsible for any work done on their property.
“Home owners and builders have a responsibility to ensure that all building work complies with the building code, irrespective of whether or not a consent is required.
“In this matter the owners required a building consent and should have sought advice from the council before undertaking extensions to their home,” Ms Todd says.