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CHANGES TO THE BUILDING ACT 2004 - 4 KEY THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

CHANGES TO THE BUILDING ACT 2004 - FOUR KEY THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW.

The changes to the Building Act 2004 ("the Act"), which took effect on 1 January 2015 attempt to strengthen consumer protection around residential building work.  As a result, building contractors involved in the residential sector will need to update their contract documentation. 

Sharp Tudhope Lawyers Partner Richard Kettelwell summarises below four need-to-know things in relation to these changes.

(1) Who is Affected?

The changes apply to building contractors undertaking building work (the construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building). Building contractors includes not only builders but also electricians, plumbers and other building professionals where they contract directly with the residential dwelling owner.  The changes do not affect subcontract agreements between a building contractor and a building subcontractor.

(2) What Work Do the Changes Apply to?

The changes are primarily directed at work valued at $30,000 or greater on residential household units.

Building work covered includes the construction, alteration, demolition or removal of a building for a client in relation to a household unit.  The changes cover not only traditional "building" work but also plumbing, electrical, roofing etc in connection with a building.

(3) What Do You Need to Do?

Building contractors affected by the changes need to amend their contract documentation to include:

  • Disclosure Information:The disclosure information includes details of the building contractor's skills and qualifications together with insurances and warranties applicable to the particular project.
  • Check List: The checklist is prescribed by Regulation and is intended to aid consumers understanding of the building project. 
  • Minimum Requirements: residential building contracts over $30,000 must be in writing, satisfactorily identify each party, provide the address where the building work is to take pace, provide a description of the building work such as the materials and products to be used, who will be undertaking, supervising and obtaining the building consents for the work, start and completion dates.

 

(4) What Else Should You be Aware Of?

Other factors to be aware of include:

  • Right to Remedy Defect Within One Year of Completion:  There is an automatic 12 month defect repair period where contractors are obliged to fix any defects in the building work of which the consumer advises the contractor. 
  • Information Provided on Completion of Residential BuildingContract: building professionals must provide to the owner of the dwelling details of any guarantee or insurance obtained by the contractor for the building work and maintenance requirements for any products incorporated in the building.
  • Penalising Building Contractors:Building contractors may be fined and/or face civil action for damages for failing to provide the pre-contract information, meeting the minimum requirements of the building contract or failing to provide the necessary information on completion of the contract.

If you have any queries about your duties as a building contractor or if you wish to have your residential building contract amended to comply with the new legislation contact Richard Kettelwell- richard.kettelwell@sharptudhope.co.nz.  Richard specialises in building and construction matters and is also chairperson of the Bay of Plenty Branch of Civil Contractors New Zealand.

 * Please note that this blog entry /article is a broad summary only, is not legal advice and should not be acted or relied upon without seeking legal advice.

Written by Richard Kettelwell at 09:00

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