Aviary turned into bedrooms

Tuesday 13 April 2004

Some North Shore immigrants are using supposed language barriers to profit from illegal house renovations, says the council.

By The Landlord

Cases include turning a bird aviary into two bedrooms and changing a laundry into a bedroom, then moving the laundry outside into a tin shed and using an extension cord for the washing machine.

North Shore City Council officer David Frith says people, mainly new immigrants, have "substantially" changed their houses and created more bedrooms for boarders without gaining consent.

In the past the council has been educating and requiring the work to be reversed.

Mr Frith, team leader for compliance and monitoring, warns there are now a few "potential candidates" who could face prosecution.

"There are some new immigrants, who are confident entrepreneurs, and some are pushing it to the limits and taking advantage of language factors, and trying to get away with it," he says.

"Maybe they used to have a small house where they came from, and now they have a big house and they are paying rates, etc. They think they can get some money back and decide to get a few boarders in."

People can be jailed for two years or fined up to $200,000 for breaching the Resource Management Act, which would also breach a council's district plan, and be fined up to $100,000 for committing an offence under the Building Act.

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