Understand site investigations, assessments and assessor's reports as your home undergoes weathertight testing.
There are two options to claim for support for weathertight damage repair through MBIE.
Both options come under the Weathertight Home Resolution Services Act:
- Make a claim through the Weathertight Homes Tribunal for dispute resolution, or
- Make a claim through the Government’s Financial Assistance Package (FAP).
You can also go through the repair process yourself by organising to have your home assessed by a building surveyor, then contracting a licensed building practitioner to fix the work.
Before you lodge a claim
Meeting the criteria
Whether you make a claim under the Weathertight Resolution Services Act, or for the FAP, you will need to prove:
- you are the owner of the house
- the house or units claimed for are used for residential purposes
- the house or complex is or has been leaking (water is entering from outside)
- the house or complex is damaged as a result of the leaks
- the house or complex (and/or common areas for multi-unit claims) was built or altered within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of lodging the claim.
To meet the 10 year criteria, you will first need to determine the property’s ‘built date’.
To be eligible to repair your home through the Weathertight Home Resolution Services Act and the FAP scheme, you will need to show the area in need of repair has been built or altered in the last 10 years, and before 1 January 2012.
Your home is generally considered "built" when it is completed to the extent required by the building consent. In most cases, this will be the date of issue of the code compliance certificate.
In situations where no building code compliance certificate was issued, your home did not receive a final inspection, or there was a significant delay in completing building work, MBIE will look at other information to determine the built date.
This could include:
- council records
- quotes or invoices for materials or labour
- statements or letters from utility companies showing electricity or gas connection dates
- photographic evidence
- the word of your neighbour
- any other information you think could be relevant.
Before you lodge a claim with the Weathertight Home Resolution Services Act, be aware there are implications of doing so:
- Your local council will be notified of your claim. It will also be recorded on your property’s Land Information Memorandum (LIM).
- Your claim information can be disclosed to third parties, if requested. Its access is governed by The Official Information Act.
- Your claim will automatically terminate if the property ownership changes. You are strongly advised not to sell or transfer your house into a different name. This includes a transfer from individual owners to a family trust.
If your claim is accepted as eligible for Government support, an assessment will be carried out to identify the causes of leaks and the extent of the damage.
Assessing leaky buildings is a specialised profession and requires the right training, equipment and experience.
There are three types of assessor’s reports available, each suitable for different situations. You will be advised on the most appropriate report to obtain.
You can expect your assessor to:
- drill holes in walls (inside and outside) to take moisture meter readings
- cut A4-sized holes in walls (inside and outside)
- take samples of wood or mould from inside the wall.
The assessor will take photographs of the damage and create a report to support your claim. Hole will be repaired as best as possible after testing, but you will be responsible for completely repairing the damage.
Your claims advisor will let you know of other implications as you move through the process, however some things to consider are:
- both claim options involve financial cost.
- when you make a claim, it will be recorded on your property’s Land Information Memorandum (LIM), regardless of the outcome.
- information you provide about your claim may be available under the Official Information Act or to other parties to your claim.
Options for eligible claims
If your claim is eligible you will need to decide how you want to progress.
Your options may include:
- repair with the help of the Financial Assistance Package (FAP)
- pursue a claim in the Weathertight Homes Tribunal or High Court.
If you are repairing your home with the FAP, you will share the agreed actual repair cost of repairing your home. The other parties are the government and your local council, if it approved the original work and is participating in the FAP.
Things to consider:
- you need to be able to afford your share of repair costs.
- you must repair after completing all qualifying steps.
- contributions are paid out as repair work progresses.
- you can access the FAP and still initiate legal proceedings against non-contributing parties, but only after completing repairs.
- you will be conducting a construction project, which is likely to take 18 months or more to complete (qualifying through to completing repairs).
If you choose to pursue a claim in the Weathertight Homes Tribunal or High Court, you can directly engage with parties to your claim and seek the cost of damages. This may involve mediation, negotiation or adjudication.
You can either:
- repair first then claim
- or claim on an estimate and repair after settlement.