The Importance of a Property File for Renovations



Looking to improve or renovate your home?

Renovation may be an exciting and gratifying experience, but it can also be intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to start.

The first stage in any effective renovation is to acquire as much information about your house as possible, especially if there will be any structural changes.

This is where your property file comes in. The contains a wealth of information on your property’s history, construction, and other documentation.

In this article, the team at Style Plus Renovations | North Shore, take a look at why you should download your property file and how to make the most of the information it contains.

Table of Contents

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.



If you’re like most homeowners looking to renovate and take the first steps, you’ve probably never heard of a property file.

A property file is just a collection of documents containing information about your property. Everything from building designs and permits to property surveys and zoning information can be included. Often the documentation goes back decades. However, sometimes, the file is empty!

The importance of obtaining your property file is that it provides you with a comprehensive picture of your property.  You can make educated judgements regarding your renovation project if you understand the history and present status of your home.

For example, if you want to add an extension to your house, you should find out whether there are any zoning limitations that would prevent you from doing so.

Property File


You may be wondering how to get your property file now that you realise why it is necessary.

The process will differ depending on where you reside. For Auckland homeowners, you can download your property file here.

Some councils may not have the most advanced online systems, so please be patient. If everything else fails, contact the council and ask them to assist you in locating your property file. Alternatively, you can always drop by your local council reception and seek help as a last option.

Typically a fee is charged for getting a property file. There are two types of requests in Auckland: urgent and standard.

The difference is the cost and the duration to receive the file. Currently (March 2023) the following applies;

ServiceTimeframeFee (includes GST)
Residential property file – standard

​​​Up to 10 working days

Residential property file – urgent

​Up to three working days


If you’re having trouble obtaining your property file; we’re here to help. Simply contact us using the form on this page.

Using Your Property File to Make Informed Renovation Decisions

Once you have downloaded/received your property file, here are some pointers for utilising your property file to make educated renovation decisions:

Determine any legal constraints: Your property file may contain papers such as planning approvals and construction rules that detail any legal constraints on what you can and cannot do with your property. Before beginning any renovation work, be sure you go over these documents.

Understand the construction of your property: Your property file may contain plans, elevations, and engineering details that can assist you to understand how your property was built.

This might be important when planning your renovation since it can help you discover any load-bearing walls, electrical or plumbing configurations, or other characteristics that may require consideration for your project.

At Style Plus Renovations when you request a free feasibility report, we will request that you provide a copy of the property file – check out Our Renovation Process.

Identify possible issues: Your property file may contain surveys, reports, and maintenance records that can assist you in identifying potential problems with your property, such as dampness, subsidence, or structural difficulties.

This knowledge might assist you in properly planning your renovation project and avoiding costly surprises later on.

Assist with the project budget planning: Your property file may provide you with a fair sense of the state of your property and any concerns that need to be addressed throughout your renovation.

You can use this information to assist with the project budget planning, taking into account any necessary repairs, changes or remedial work that may be required.


When you receive your copy of the property file you will find; all the paperwork comprising of architectural drawings, correspondence between homeowners, architects, and council, building cost estimates, plans, approval and compliance notices, resource consent applications and notices are being digitally scanned.

These documents may vary from detailed reports to handwritten notes.

Tip: Look for permissions, building consents or resource consents that relate to your property and any changes since it was constructed.

Compare what is on the file to how the property currently looks to identify any changes/alterations.

There should be council consents filed in the property file or the LIM (land information memorandum) for any work completed if consent was required for the work undertaken.

Completed works are usually required to have a code compliance certificate (CCC), which will also be found in the LIM or property file.


The property file is not a straightforward read, and it may take some effort to make sense of the document’s contents.

The files may contain technical jargon or plans that are not immediately clear, making it challenging to understand the information presented.

Additionally, the files may not follow a chronological order, which could further complicate the process of understanding the contents of the property file.


  • What is a LIM report?
    Land Information Memorandum Memorandum (LIM). A LIM is a report generated at your request by the local council. It gives a summary of the current property information possessed by the council's various departments on the day the LIM was created. For Auckland homeowners, you can apply for your LIM report here.
  • Can my builder be a project manager?
    Yes, there are licensed builders that manage the whole renovation process. Whichever option you decide on, be sure there is a formal contract that clearly defines all of the parties' responsibilities.
  • Do I need a project manager for my home renovation?
    Ultimately, as the home owner it is your choice. However, keep in mind the following;
    • A project manager is your safety net, and they are there to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
    • A project manager relieves stress by managing your project from start to finish, keeping you informed every step of the way. And is usually one point of contact for the project.
    • A project manager can save you money in the long run because they manage the entire project, can source products, and are familiar with everything.
    • A project manager understands how long things take and can plan and organise sub-trades to be on the job at the right time.
  • How do project managers charge for their services?
    There are a few ways that project managers managing a building project charge for their services. The following are a few popular choices;
    1. Flat fee per project
    2. Invoicing based on hourly rates
    3. Percentage of project costs
    4. Project phase payments
  • What role does a project manager play for a home renovation?
    Renovation project managers are in charge of the planning and execution of the renovation projects. They make certain that work is finished on schedule, on budget and liase with the local council if required. They also plan logistics, distribute tasks, and keep track of the budget/expenditures.

Whether you are looking to increase your home’s resale value or create a space that you can enjoy for years, contact us and arrange for a free consultation.

At Style Plus Renovations, we will help you achieve your renovation goals!

Whilst all information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information.

The information may change without notice and Style Plus Renovations is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.


As an Auckland North Shore family-owned and run business, Style Plus Renovations care about what we do and we take the time to fully understand your renovation needs. We are also proud to receive some exceptional compliments from our Auckland clients.

Get started with a Free
Architects Renovation Feasibility Report



Tel us about your renovation project and we’ll call you back for a no-obligation chat about your ideas.

Alternatively, if you prefer, we can initially set up a meeting using Microsoft Teams or Zoom (and other meeting apps) for a no-obligation chat about your ideas.

We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your project and get you started on your renovation journey.

If you would like to know more about our renovation process, check it out here.

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