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People With Contaminated Properties Need Certainty

Aucklanders who own properties that may potentially be contaminated need certainty the Property Institute said today.

This follows reports that the Councils and the Government have yet to work out a solution to the problem in West Auckland, where 3000 properties are tagged on their LIM report because of contamination fears.

Property Institute CEO, Conor English said today, "Uncertainty always has an negative impact on property values. Buyers will be reluctant to take a risk on purchasing a property unless they can get it at a discount to cover any possible problems later on. If they perceive the problems to be potentially great, then what they will be prepared to offer will simply be much reduced

"It will be difficult to complete property sales in such an environment.

"We have seen a similar problem with "leaky buildings" as new owners have been stung for sometimes very expensive previously unknown remedial works.

"There appear to remain a few unanswered questions regarding the level of contamination and who is responsible for causing it and cleaning it up.

"The market needs to know the level of contamination on each property, if any, who is responsible for any testing or remedial action, the timeframes involved and who pays for this.

"And it still appears unclear what if any responsibility and costs may be put on property owners by either the Councils or the Government.

"Home owners appear to be the meat in the sandwich. It is vital for the market to operate fairly that the Government and the relevant Councils give all parties involved certainty as soon as possible, "Mr English concluded.

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