Changes to Building Amendment Act to Benefit Homeowners

July 17th, 2014

The Building Amendment Act 2013 was passed in Parliament as a result of a review into the Buildings Act 2004.  The amended act introduces measures to improve the building and construction sector. This makes sure they provide quality affordable homes and buildings for homeowners.

Building Amendment ActThe most important changes to the Buildings Amendment Act are around consumer protection laws ensuring that there is a professional, no-surprises relationship between you and your builder. It’s important to understand these changes because you have a part to play too.

Building amendment act changes

  1. Mandatory written contracts for residential building work over $30,000 are required with the Buildings Amendment Act.  A new home or major renovation is a big investment, and this will help to protect your interests.
  2. A requirement for building contractors to provide checklists and disclose certain information for residential building work over $30,000
  3. Your building contractor must give you information about his or her skills, qualifications, licensing status and track record. This will help you ensure you get the right people on the job.
  4. There will be an automatic 12 month ‘defect repair period.’  This is when builders have to fix any defects that you have told them about, ‘no questions asked.’
  5. Details of the minimum content that must be included in residential building contracts and details of the clauses that are taken to be included in a residential building contract that does not contain all of the minimum content, or in a contract for work over $30,000 that is not in writing.
  6. Details of the information that a building contractor must provide to the client after the building work is completed.
  7. Infringement fees of $500 for breaching the contract, disclosure or checklist requirements.

Tips on hiring a tradesperson

When you’re hiring a builder or tradesperson via Builderscrack for any size job, we recommend that you:

  • Get several quotes (our online comprehensive quoting system allows you to get several quotes from different builders for free).
  • Find out as much as you can about a building contractor’s competence and business standards before you decide to hire them. Read their profile and reviews, check their registrations and qualifications are current with the appropriate licensing bodies.
  • Ask for a written contract and read it. They will upload this to you via Builderscrack as a file attachment while you’re going through the quoting process.
  • Check out the payments schedule and ask the builder about the process for varying the contract.
  • Get any changes to the works or contract in writing and keep the signed contract, receipts and all other communications in a safe place.
  • Follow up on any warranty issues without delay.

Building Amendment ActRemember, all building work must comply with the Building Code, even if building work does not require a building consent. Building work must not adversely affect a building’s level of compliance with the Building Code.

Information on specific dates and changes for the Building Amendment Act is available here.

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