Last week while handing keys over to a client (who incidentally is renting the property she purchased in St Albans/Merivale until settlement due to the requirements of the insurer because of TC3 land zoning) I coincidentally met a geotechnical engineer from Aurecon on site. After a reasonably in-depth and informative conversation I was able to glean some very helpful information.
While he mentioned that residential work is currently only a very small portion of their workload and individuals requiring their services can expect a reasonable wait he made a couple of relevant comments that I thought would be welcome news for those blighted with the TC3 label (my home included):
- Unofficially he mentioned that their company has a maximum charge for a residential property geotechnical investigation/report of $2,000.
- After completing their inspection and subsequent report, if the land is deemed to be of TC2 rating/quality it is his opinion that it is possible to have the category changed for your land with CERA.
- If able to have your property re-categorised he recommended that you do so, as moving forward he believes that it is likely insurers and lenders will mostly likely have more stringent requirements for TC3 zoned property.
I guess one of the advantages for a TC3 home owner is that thorough “site specific” investigation is going to be required for their properties one way or another. For example, if their home is to be rebuilt, their insurance/building company will be required to have a full geotechnical report completed in order to design appropriate foundations. The bottom line in a property transaction is that both the home owner and the purchaser will have comprehensive site-specific information which would not necessarily be the case had it been zoned under one of the other categories – worth thinking about.
I trust February treats you well (and your Valentine) and here’s to good progress with the rebuild.
CORRECTION: To clarify, the $2,000 is for the drilling rig only. The cost for a geotech report from Aurecon is determined on a case-by-case basis. You can contact Aurecon on 03 366 0821.
Further, we have since found that the findings of a site-specific geotech report will be lodged on the city council’s property file and the LIM, but not result in the property being recategorised. Any future building/property requirements will be based on those findings.