Tiny house

PHOTO: MARTIN DE RUYTER Mohammad and Leela Aboubakr sold two properties in Egypt to fund their tiny dream home in New Zealand, but based their budget on council advice that no resource consent was needed.

Tiny-home owners and councils are calling for simplified resource consent rules as owners trying to do the right thing get caught up in red tape.

Tasman-based couple Mohammad and Leela Aboubakr found themselves in trouble, despite consulting their district council, when they built what they believed to be a vehicle not subject to the Building Act, not requiring resource consent.

Mohammad Aboubakr now says they are being punished for trying to do the right thing, as conflicting advice from the council and confusion over what rules should apply have left them with potentially thousands of dollars of unplanned expenses.

“Going to the council has put us worse off than if we had just gone and built this up in the bush somewhere, illegally.”