This refers to mandatory disclosure and contracts for residential buildings:
- For Home Owners: What does the Building Amendment Act 2013 mean for me? [PDF 823 KB, 2 pages]
- For Builders: What does the Building Amendment Act 2013 mean for me? [PDF 1.0 MB, 2 pages]
- For Owners and Builders: Guide to tolerances, materials, and workmanship in new residential construction 2015.
Having a mandatory contract encourages a professional, no-surprises relationship between you and your contractor. It should also enable you to make informed decisions about the building work. See DO YOUR HOMEWORK – a quick guide about important steps in the building process, covering:
- Protection for homeowners
- Before building work starts
- Once building work finishes
- What if things go wrong?
- And finally, an overview of the building process set out in a diagram.
The key points:
- You must have a written contract for residential building work costing $30,000 or more (including GST) and your contractor must give you information about
- his or her skills,
- licensing status, and
- the insurance or guarantees they provide a disclosure statement
- Your contractor must also give you information about
- any on-going maintenance requirements,
- insurance policies and
- guarantees and warranties once the building work has been completed
- There’s an automatic 12-month defect repair period when contractors have to fix any defects you’ve told them about.
- There are new ways to take action when warranties in the Building Act have not been met.
- Contractors can be fined if they don’t comply with the law.
The Owner is responsible for certain aspects of the project but can engage an agent to do this work for them. The key responsibilities are:
- Get a building consent
- If making changes to approved plans – get approval before you do the work
- Notify the council of any changes to the LBPs employed – LBP Notification form.
- Ensure all required inspections are booked at the appropriate stages of a building project with the Council.
- Collect any ROW for restricted building work. It is best to collect these from the LBPs during the build (where possible) rather than at the end. Check that all aspects of restricted building work have been recorded in the ROWs. Provide a copy to the council.
- When the job appears to be finished, call for the Final Inspection with your local Council.
- Once the final inspection has been passed, apply for the CCC.
- Application for a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) should be made within 2 years of the building consent being granted. It is important to obtain a CCC as this document is often the deciding factor in the sale and purchase of a property. Once the final Inspection has been passed, apply for CCC with your local Council. If you are not going to finish by this date, apply for any extension of time before the cut-off date. See applications
- Reference: Building Act 2004 Section 14B
Owner builder responsibilities
Building Act 2004 Section 14C: An owner-builder is responsible for ensuring that restricted building work carried out under the owner-builder exemption complies with the building consent and the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates.
(For more information see Owner-Builder Exemptions.)
Responsibilities of all designers are defined by the Building Act 2004 Section 14D:
- In subsection (2), designer means a person who prepares plans and specifications for building work or who gives advice on the compliance of building work with the building code.
- A designer is responsible for ensuring that the plans and specifications or the advice in question are sufficient to result in the building work complying with the building code if the building work were properly completed in accordance with those plans and specifications or that advice.
- Building Act 2004 Section 14D (as above).
- Registered Architects must comply with the Registered Architect Rules 2006.
- Section 7 (2)(p) and section 21(a) RE: Minimum standards: must understand and comply with statutory and regulatory requirements
- Section 47: uphold the law
- Section 49: show care and due diligence
Chartered Professional Engineers
Building Act 2004 Section 14D (as above).
CPENG engineers must comply with the Chartered professional engineers of New Zealand Rules (no 2) 2002 – Section 43: take reasonable steps to safeguard health and safety of people. (Under NZ law, the Building Code defines the minimum level of health and safety performance that a building design must meet.)
Building Act 2004 Section 14E:
- In subsection (2), builder means any person who carries out building work, whether in a trade or not.
- A builder is responsible for-
- ensuring that the building work complies with the building consent and the plans and specifications to which the building consent relates
- ensuring that building work not covered by a building consent complies with the building code
- A licensed building practitioner who carries out or supervises restricted building work is responsible for-
- ensuring that the restricted building work is carried out or supervised in accordance with the requirements of this Act; and
- ensuring that he or she is licensed in a class for carrying out or supervising that restricted building work
- Building Act 2004, Section 88 – Each LBP who carries out or supervises restricted building work under a building consent must, on completion of the restricted building work –
- provide the owner and the Council with a Record of Work (ROW), in the prescribed form, stating what restricted building work the LBP carried out or supervised; and
- if applicable, give the owner and the Council a certificate, in the prescribed form, stating that any specified systems in the building to which the restricted building work relates are capable of performing to the performance standards set out in the building consent.
Consumer Guarantees Act 1993
The creation of building plans and specifications can be seen as a service or product as can the construction carried out against these plans. Therefore the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 applies. Any business that is serious about its brand should be familiar with this Act:
Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 Section 1A Purpose
The purpose of this Act is to contribute to a trading environment in which-
- the interests of consumers are protected; and
- businesses compete effectively; and
- consumers and businesses participate confidently
To this end, the Act provides that consumers have-
- certain guarantees when acquiring goods or services from a supplier, including-
- that the goods are reasonably safe and fit for purpose and are otherwise of an acceptable quality; and
- that the services are carried out with reasonable care and skill; and
- certain rights of redress against suppliers and manufacturers if goods or services fail to comply with a guarantee