If you are considering residential building work, you need to know about the consumer protection measures.
These measures protect not just the homeowner and their investment, but the people doing the work. They encourage a professional, no-surprises relationship between the homeowner and the contractor.
The measures can also help homeowners get a better result from their building project.
Key measures include:
- You must have a written contract for residential building work costing $30,000 or more (including GST).
- Before signing a contract for work that costs $30,000 or more (including GST), the contractor must give you a disclosure statement that includes details about their skills, qualifications, licensing status, insurance and any guarantees they provide.
- Once building work has been completed, and regardless of the size of the job, your contractor must give you certain information or documents related to the building work. These include on-going maintenance requirements, guarantees or warranties and any on-going insurance policies.
- An automatic 12-month defect period when contractors have to fix any defects you have told them about in writing.
- You can take action for up to 10 years if warranties in the Building Act have not been met, even if they are not in your contract (these are called implied warranties).
- Contractors can be fined if they don’t comply with the law.
Consumer protection measures are included in Part 4A of the Building Act 2004, which came into force on 1 January 2015.
If you are planning to build, renovate or make home modifications, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment wants you to Build It Right.
- Visit Building Performance website (link to external website, new window) before building work starts and find out about your rights and responsibilities.
- You can download a copy of MBIE’s Know your rights booklet from MBIE's website.
- Watch the video at Why contracts are valuable (link to external website, new window).
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