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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Red Zone house valuations - Lianne Dalziel's perspective

In edition 97 (22nd August) of Brendon Burn's Christchurch Earthquake Bulletin Lianne Dalziel has the following comments on house valuations where additional work has been done since 2007.
After the offer to red-zone property owners, the issue was repeatedly raised by people, at briefings organised by CERA, whether people who had done up their houses would have those costs considered.
The message was that if a building consent had been involved, the issue was clear-cut, but if that wasn’t the case, people should keep their receipts. That was comforting, as so many people have done up bathrooms or kitchens or other parts of the house, often spending many thousands of dollars.
Now it has been formally confirmed that there are only two grounds for such compensation — if there has been a mistake in terms of the footprint, or if the alterations have increased the size of the footprint of the house, which will show up in the building consent. Anything else, even if it cost maybe $30,000, is a matter for private insurers, but that, of course, is only true if a damaged house is being rebuilt.
Many people, including elderly people (who maybe wanted to tidy their house while they could), now face the reality that their money has gone down the drain. Given what is being spent overall, how much extra would it have cost to show this bit of humanity? It is these little things that add so much to stress and anxiety, particularly for those who already feel helpless.
The Bulletin is here (note: in the Bulletin the comments are one big paragraph, here they have been split into smaller paragraphs to make them more readable. Otherwise nothing has been changed).

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