In the Residential Suburban, Residential Suburban Density Transition and Residential Hills zones, a family flat that was existing on 6 December 2013 can be converted into a separate residential unit that can be occupied by anyone, if the following requirements are met:
- The new residential unit converted from the family flat has a gross floor area of at least 35m² (excluding terraces, garages, decks and verandahs)
- In the Residential Suburban and Suburban Density Transition zones, a total outdoor living space area of least 90m² with a minimum dimension of 6m must be provided, and each residential unit must have a separate outdoor living space of 30m² which is readily accessible from its living area
- The converted unit must have a parking space and the original dwelling must also comply with the parking requirements of the Transport chapter (which vary depending on the size of the original dwelling)
- There is no minimum net site area requirement for either the converted flat or the original dwelling, but the converted flat must comply with all of the other Christchurch District Plan rules for residential units in that zone (recession planes, setbacks from boundaries, maximum height, etc).
No resource consent is needed if all these criteria are met, but a building consent for fire rating will be required if the converted family flat is attached to the original house or located within 2 metres of it.
A Development Contribution is required when converting a family flat into a residential unit under these rules.
The encumbrance on the certificate of title which restricts the occupancy of the flat is able to be removed using form: P-014b Request for Discharge of Encumbrance - Family Flat Conversion (or Word).
Please note that the fee for discharging an encumbrance does not include your own solicitor's fees. The preparation of the discharge document is done in consultation with your solicitor, as it is a legal document.