A lifestyle block or ‘plot’ is generally a smallholding in the country and is often undeveloped. Many people are keen to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

When considering purchasing a lifestyle block you will need to complete your due diligence carefully and find out what the future development plans are for the area and how they may affect you. For example, there are times when people buy a lifestyle block only to find out that the area around it has been zoned for industrial purposes.

There are some important issues that go with buying a lifestyle block that you will need to be aware of. For example, here are four key things to consider:

GST

Firstly you will need to check whether the Vendor is registered for GST and/or whether the purchase price is ‘plus GST’ or ‘GST inclusive’. Depending on the size, scale and intended use of the lifestyle block, you will need to consider whether you should be GST registered.

Sewage and Water supply

Many lifestyle blocks are not connected to any sewage system and rely on septic tanks. If you are buying an existing dwelling, you will need to understand the type of system installed. If you are looking to build, you will need to look into council requirements and whether resource consent will be required for sewage disposal.

For many lifestyle blocks, water is supplied by private bores/wells, or rain water tank systems. The use of water for irrigation or commercial purposes will most likely require consent. Ensure you are aware of where your water comes from and the quality.

Resource Management Act (RMA)

Check out zoning rules and activities on adjoining properties so that you understand what kind of activities can take place on the properties around you. Being rural, an example of surrounding activities could be dairy farming, effluent spreading, harvesting, spraying and fertilising. Councils try to minimise any conflicts between these and neighbouring properties so this will need to be considered by you.

Land Covenants

Many lifestyle blocks have been subdivided from larger plots of land. Covenants registered on your Certificate of Title may manage the way your property can be used, restrict certain types of farming or types of pets, or may require you to develop the land in a certain way. Care in reading the covenant documents before you proceed is highly recommended.

To get more information and your lifestyle block conveyancing sorted, give us a call on 09 267 2700 or contact us.