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Know your stuff: For the record

Posted: 23 March 2016

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The Building Practitioners Board recently made a decision affecting all LBPs who issue Records of Work (RoW) forms with respect to how the RoWs should be used. This article covers the major points from that decision as well as seven common questions relating to RoWs.
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The requirement to provide a record of work (RoW) has been in place for many years now (since March 2012). However, some LBPs still seem to struggle with their understanding of when this form is required to be completed, who it should be provided to, and what their key obligations are in respect of this record.

The Building Practitioners Board recently made a decision affecting all LBPs who issue RoWs. The decision covers how RoWs should be used. In order to give a brief refresher and to make everyone’s life easier, this article covers the major points from that decision. The Board decision covered seven common questions relating to RoWs.

Who must provide a RoW?

Each and every LBP must provide a RoW on the completion of Restricted Building Work (RBW) they have undertaken. Even if someone else is in charge, if you’re an LBP you must provide a RoW for your work if it is RBW.

What is a RoW for?

A RoW ensures people involved with work can be identified by the owner and the council, but it does not create any liability other than what already existed without a RoW.

On completion of RBW

Even if the overall job is not complete, if you’ve finished your work onsite or will not be going back, you still need to provide a RoW. The Board suggests that “sooner rather than later” is a good approach, and even if you’re in a dispute with another party, you still have to provide a RoW.

How soon after completion of RBW?

The Board decided that you need to provide the RoW “a short time” after you complete your work. There’s no exact rule, but “sooner rather than later” is a great approach. You can’t wait until someone asks you to provide one, be proactive! And remember, you can now complete these forms online at the LBP portal www.lbp.govt.nz . New electronic forms were released (for use in the portal) late last year and thousands of LBPs have already utilised the online forms to complete their paperwork easily.

How much detail is required?

Enough detail is needed that if someone else picked it up they would understand what work you did. It is also good to be able to show what work you did not do if a dispute were to arise.

Who must a RoW be provided to?

The law says you must provide it to the owner of the property and the local council. If the owner has appointed an agent (like a designer or architect), you could give it to them unless the owner asks for it directly. However, it is still a LBP's responsibility to ensure both parties receive a copy on completion of the RBW.

Good reasons for not providing a RoW

There’s only been one case where the Board agreed there was a good reason for not providing a RoW, and that was where the LBP’s boss was trying to get him to provide RoW for work he did not do or supervise. So it is pretty rare that someone has a “good excuse”, and the Board has said many times that payment disputes are not good reasons!

So there you have it, some really good things to keep in mind about RoWs. If you want to read the Board decision, you can look on our website (www.lbp.govt.nz) and search for decision number C2-01170 (the names of the people involved have been removed from the decision).

Keep up the good work!

Quiz Questions – show-you-know
 

1. All LBPs who carry out RBW have to provide a RoW for work that they have done, even if they are not the boss or foreman. True or False?

2. What does the law mean when it says “on the completion”?

  1. The very second you put your hammer down.
  2. When the owner applies for Code Compliance Certificate.
  3. When you’ve finished your work onsite and probably won’t be going back.

3. How long after you finish your work should you give your RoW to the owner and the council?

  1. Never
  2. Sooner rather than later
  3. Wait at least three months

4. Not being paid is a good excuse to not give anyone a RoW. True or False?

5. A RoW does not make you liable for the work you have done unless you were already liable for the work. True or False?

Link to the answers

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: