Written-off homes may be put on LIMs

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 12:30 18/04/2013

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Earthquake recovery officials are looking at how homes that have been written off by their insurers but are still being lived in can be identified in the future.

Such homes are starting to come onto the market and many in the real estate industry have raised concerns there are no public records to protect unsuspecting buyers from snapping them up in years to come.

Most of those homes are being sold with full disclosure but there are concerns that as time goes on information on their true condition may not be available to buyers.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief executive Roger Sutton today told the Christchurch City Council's earthquake forum that his staff were working on ways to ensure houses that were economic write-offs did not become a problem in the future.

"They might have a crack through the floor slab but they are still completely liveable and safe,'' Sutton said.

While Cera was happy for those houses to remain occupied for now because they served a social purpose and allowed people to stay in their neighbourhoods, it was a concern that they could pose problems further down the track if there were no records of where they were located.

"We don't want to create a problem where in five or 10 years time we don't know where those houses are.

"They play a valuable role but we don't want them becoming a problem in the future,'' Sutton said.

Cera was doing some work around the issue and looking at what information needed to be recorded on the Land Information Memorandums held by the local authorities.

Meanwhile, Sutton said the long-awaited insurance advisory service for Christchurch should be unveiled by the end of this month.

It is more than nine months since councillors first called for the Earthquake Recovery Minister to set up an insurance advisory service to help those battling to reach settlements with their insurers.

Councillors have been repeatedly told the launch of the service is "imminent'' but despite those assurances nothing has yet to happen.

But Sutton told councillors he was confident the service would be ready to be launched by the end of this month.

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- The Press

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