New Protections for People Working with Building Contractors

Wednesday 18 March 2015

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has provided the following advice in respect of the new consumer protection measures which came into effect from 1 January 2015.  

These changes should encourage a professional, no-surprises, relationship between the contractor and their clients.

From 1 January 2015 the contractor must:

  1. Provide a written contract that must include certain minimum content, for building work $30,000 or more (including GST) whenever they are given the job directly by the homeowner.  These may be purchased from Standards NZ (3902: 2004), or get one from their industry association (e.g. Master Builders, Certified Builders), or use a lawyer to create their own.
  2. Provide a standard checklist to any client whose building work costs $30,000 or more or who asks for a copy of this before the parties sign a contract. Download a copy from www.doyourhomework.co.nz or pick one up from your local trade merchant.
  3. Give a written disclosure statement to any client whose building work costs $30,000 or more or who asks for a copy of this before the parties sign a contract.  A template is available at www.doyourhomework.co.nz to help you cover your bases.
  4. Once the building work is completed give your clients information on any insurances, guarantees or warranties that cover the completed work and information about any maintenance requirements.

In addition to these requirements:

  • For building work done under contracts signed after 1 January 2015, a 12-month defect repair period starts when the work has been completed, during this time it is the contractor's responsibility to prove that any defects are through no fault of their own (or their product) if there is a dispute.
  • The homeowner has new ways to take action when the implied warranties in the Building Act 2004 have not been met.
  • You can be fined if you don’t comply with the law.

Downloads

To support these measures, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has written guidance booklets.

Got Questions?