Understand when you need a contract for your building project.
Last updated: 9 February 2017
You need to be satisfied with the building work and apply to council for sign-off as soon as practical after your building work is finished and they have done their final inspection.
If your contractors have met all of the building consent requirements, including all scheduled inspections, applying for a code compliance certificate should be straightforward.
Information your contractor must give you
As part of completing the build, your contractor must give you certain information and documents related to the building work, regardless of the price or size of the project. You might need them for your code compliance certificate application, as well as for management and maintenance of your building.
Your contractor needs to give you:
- information about processes and materials necessary to maintain the building work. This is particularly important if the building owner will need to carry out specific maintenance to meet Building Code requirements (see specified systems below) or there are requirements that could affect a guarantee or warranty related to durability
- a copy of any guarantees or warranties for materials or services used in the building work, including information about:
- how to make a claim
- whether the guarantee or warranty is transferable
- whether it must be signed and returned to the issuer
- a copy of any current insurance policy they hold for the building work, if it was completed under a contract (not including policies that expire when the work is complete).
Protecting your investment
Good maintenance, including best approach, major matters (including warranty requirements) and a checklist.
Identify defects within 12 months
You also need to review the work, as you have 12 months from the date your building work is complete to tell your contractors about any defects in their work or the work of their subcontractors.
If you’ve contracted other tradespeople directly, you’ll need to contact them yourself (in writing) about any defective building work.
If you tell contractors about any defective work within the 12 month period, they must put it right within a reasonable timeframe from receiving written notification. If there is a dispute, it is the contractors’ responsibility to prove that any defects are through no fault of their own (or their product).
How to identify defects includes guidance and next steps.
Rights and obligations can help you understand responsibilities.
Specified systems and compliance schedules
If your property has a specified system, you will receive a compliance schedule as part of your council sign-off (code compliance certificate). A specified system could be a cable car, sprinkler system or any system that requires ongoing maintenance so that it is effective and safe to use.
If your property is a multi-unit residential, commercial or public building you will have ongoing compliance building warrant of fitness (BWoF) requirements. Single residential buildings with cable cars also have BWoF requirements.