How to read your assessor's report

Your weathertightness assessor will write a detailed report once they have investigated your leaking property. As a homeowner, this guide will help you to understand the report.

This guide is laid out in the same format and order as your assessor’s report. You can contact your claims advisor if there are any aspects of the report you do not understand.

Cover page

Shows your weathertight claim number and has a photo of your house or complex. It does not identify you or your address.

Introduction

1. Claim description

Summarises the basic details of your claim, including your name, the property’s address, when your application was received and when the report was written. It identifies the assessor and when they wrote the report.

It shows the property’s legal description which will look something like: “Lot 1 DP 9999”. This could mean:

  • the ‘Lot 1’ or ‘Flat 1’ or ‘Unit 1’ part refers to how you own your property, such as fee simple (Lot), crosslease (Flat), or unit title (Unit) development
  • the “DP 9999” part is the number of the deposited plan, which is the official surveyor’s plan of your property site

The certificate of title also displays this information, and a copy is included in the report in the supporting documents section.

2. Purpose of the report

This section states that the report is independent and is to establish eligibility. If your assessment is a full assessment, it provides a detailed assessment of causes, damage and estimated repair costs for remedial work.

3. Executive summary

Summarises the report to show:

  • the overall findings
  • the extent of remediation
  • significant health and safety issues
  • the cost of the repairs.

Background information

4. Description of property

Introduces your home, shows some photos (typically of the outside), and then describes how it is built.

5. History of construction

Lists key dates during the construction or alteration of your home.

Also gives the assessor’s opinion of the ‘built date’, which describes the date at which the dwelling was considered ‘built’ or ‘altered’ and when the 10-year eligibility window for Weathertight Home Resolution Services claims commenced.

6. Eligibility criteria

Sets out the assessor's opinion on the eligibility of your claim.

7. People and organisations associated with the construction

Lists people or organisations associated with building or altering your home. Also gives the assessor’s opinion of whether someone should be a party to the claim or not, but it is not an opinion about their liability. An addendum report may find new leaks and possibly other parties to name.

Methodology, observations and analysis

8. Methodology

Explains how your home was investigated, with references to preceding reports as appropriate. It includes the following:

  • Preliminary investigation: summarises the establishment of the investigation, including when the site was visited.
  • Investigation methods: explains how your home was observed, in particular the different testing methods. These methods include observation (looking) and invasive testing (using resistance moisture meters, and removing cladding to examine inside the walls).
  • Consultants and assistants: lists other people who contributed to the investigation, such as builders, quantity surveyors, and laboratories.
  • Specialist equipment used: lists the specialist equipment used on-site, typically moisture meters and cameras.
  • Claimant’s comments: summarises relevant information that you’ve provided to your claims advisor or your assessor.
  • Information from other sources: outlines information gathered from a variety of reliable sources, including previous assessments, laboratory reports, comments from relevant people (for example, a tenant) and manufacturer’s information.

9. Observations and analysis

Describes what was found during the investigation, with references to preceding reports as appropriate. It includes the following:

  • Investigation maps: usually elevation drawings or photos that show on-site investigations such as moisture readings, cladding “cut-outs“ (where parts of cladding are removed to allow more detailed investigation) and locations of samples taken for laboratory testing.
  • Observations: there may be general observations, such as comments about building consent documentation.
  • Observations and analysis – current damage: describes in detail what was observed. Where problems were found, they are grouped into “deficiencies” so you can see what specific issues there are with your home. For example, a house may have no flashings installed around windows, or may have the floor built too low to the ground. To support the findings there may be reference to photos, cut-outs, laboratory samples and other supporting evidence.
  • Observations and analysis – likely future damage: summarises where and why your home is likely to leak in the future (if it isn’t repaired).

10. Conclusion

Discusses and justifies the deficiencies and required repair work (if any), with references to preceding reports as appropriate, providing:

  • Summary of deficiencies: lists a summary of all the deficiencies in your home.
  • Opinion on repair: describes the required repair, such as whether your home needs a full reclad or can be fixed with ‘targeted repairs’.
  • Justification for opinion: explains why the recommended repairs are required.

11. Health and safety

Summarises any important and dangerous findings, such as:

  • whether toxic mould such as stachybotrys atra is present,
  • or if there is a balcony in danger of collapsing.

If the assessor found anything of immediate risk, they will have already advised those present at the time of their inspection about any concerns. This section may be omitted if the assessor didn’t find any health and/or safety concerns.

Remediation

12. Repair proposal

Describes the assessor’s recommendation as to how your home can be repaired to a state as if it never leaked – also known as a ‘like-for-like’ repair.

This is to aid the dispute resolution and/or the calculation of contributions (under the Financial Assistance Package), and isn’t necessarily how you will choose to repair your home.

It will refer to preceding reports as appropriate.

It includes:

  • Schedule of remedial work to repair current and likely future damage: lists the building work required to fix deficiencies and ensure that it won’t leak in the future.
  • Illustrations of damage and remedial works: typically drawings or photos that show the extent of damage on your home, where it might leak in the future, and the proposed remedial works.

13. Estimate of costs

This summarises the costs of remedial work to repair ‘current damage’ and ‘likely future damage’.

It may also show the cost of works already undertaken, and will refer to preceding reports as appropriate.

14. Eligibility Statement

The assessor is required by the Weathertight Home Resolution Services Act 2006 to state their opinion of whether your claim is eligible under the Act.

The criteria for an eligible claim are:

  • that you are the owner of the house or the representative of owners in a multi-unit complex (multi-unit claims may also include common areas)
  • The house or complex was built (or alterations giving rise to the claim were made to it) before 1 January 2012 and within a period of 10 years immediately before the day on which the claim is brought
  • Water has penetrated the house or complex because of some aspect of its design, construction or alteration, or because of materials used in the design, construction or alteration
  • The penetration of water has caused damage to the house or complex.

Supporting documents

Note that some of these sections may not appear in your report if they’re not relevant.

15. Legislation

Extracts from relevant pieces of legislation, such as the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service Act 2006 and clauses from the New Zealand Building Code, like B2 Durability and E2 External Moisture.

16. Assessor’s qualifications and experience

Outline of the assessor’s professional background.

17. Documents relating to Building Code compliance

Excerpts from territorial authority records, typically the building consent documents and inspection records.

18. Photographs

Photos of the on-site investigation.

19. Estimate of cost

A copy of the estimate of remedial works, written by a qualified cost estimator.

20. Ownership and application documents

A copy of your certificate of title. It includes a range of information including the details of your ownership.

21. Explanatory notes

Notes to explain moisture content readings (taken by resistance moisture meters).

22. Specialist reports

Copies of reports by specialist consultants, typically laboratory or structural reports. A lab report will analyse timber and material samples, and a structural report will comment on the structural integrity and safety of the building.

23. Manufacturer’s literature and technical specifications

Excerpts from relevant technical sources, for example, from a cladding manufacturer. These may help illustrate practice at the time of building or they may be relevant to the repair works.

24. Claimant’s documents

Additional information provided by you that may be relevant.

25. Other defects and deferred maintenance

A list of possible defects noted during the investigation that aren’t related to weathertightness, such as a leaky shower. This section may also list repairs that fall outside the Weathertight Home Resolution Service timeframes, but are still needed to make your home weathertight.

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: