What You Need To Know About The NHBRC
Means the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act, 1998 (Act No 95 of 1998) which makes provision for the protection of housing consumers and provides also for the establishment of the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) which is mandated to apply the "Act" through prescribed regulations and procedures as per Government Gazette 1 December 1999 and Home Building Manuals Parts 1,2 & 3 February 1999.
Implication of the Act
As for the NHBRC to warrant any residential dwelling against poor workmanship resulting into structural defects all newly build residential dwellings are to be enrolled by any Developer, Contractor or Prospective Home Owner with the NHBRC whether being built cash or through finance assistance by any legal bond holder.
The following are the types of dwellings covered by "the Act".
- Town housed
- Employee/Corporate Housing
- Rented Homes
Additions and alterations are not covered by "the Act. Owner Builders must apply through the NHBRC for exemption.
All Developers and Contractors that are in the business of building residential dwellings, must Register with the NHBRC as such.
The NHBRC Warranty
The NHBRC warranty covers the super structure, floor slabs and roof up to a maximum amount of R500,000 which may include:
- Any professional fee
- Necessary costs for rectification
- Reasonable accommodation costs.
The period covered by the warranty is 5 (five) years maximum, from occupation date.
Defects and poor workmanship must be recorded formally (in writing) to the Developer or Contractor as well as the NHBRC within 3 (three) months from date of occupation.
Roof leaks attributable to poor workmanship and materials must be recorded, formally (in writing) the Developer, Contractor as well as to the NHBRC within 12 (twelve) months from date of occupations.
The NHBRC warranty takes effect from date of occupation by the Home Owner of the newly built dwelling providing that the dwelling was formally enrolled with the NHBRC and that the NHBRC didn't issue a formal letter of non-compliance in accordance with the NHBRC Technical Requirements.
1. Section 10: Failure to register with the NHBRC
2. Section 14: Failure to enroll the new home 15 days prior to construction.
3. Section 19: Obstructing the NHBRC inspectors from executing their duties.
4. Section 18: To finance or register a bond on a new home without ensuring the builder is registered with NHBRC and the home are enrolled.
5. Section 18.(2) Failure by conveyancer to ensure that the builder is registered and that the home is enrolled.
6. Section 18.(3) Failure by subsidy provider to ensure builder is registered with NHBRC and the home is enrolled.
7. Section 21.(a) Withholding information or giving false or misleading information.
8. R 20658 Sect. 15: Failure to declare late enrolments.
A fine of R25 000-00 or 1 year imprisonment on each charge according to the Government Gazette No.19414 and R20658.
Should the Home Builder or a Housing Consumer refuse to comply with the Act, the Council may apply for a court order in terms of Section 20 of the Act.
- To enforce compliance
- To stop construction of a home
- To grant any other assistance that may be appropriate in the circumstances.
Responsibilities of the Home Builder
As a condition of the Act, all home builders must register with the NHBRC, enroll all new homes with the NHBRC and take on the following responsibilities:
- Register with the NHBRC and maintain this registration every year.
- Enter into a written agreement with the housing consumer.
- Enroll the new home with the NHBRC and pay the enrolment fee.
- Ensure that the home is constructed in a workmanlike manner, fit for habitation, constructed in accordance with the NHBRC Technical Requirements and the terms, plans and specifications of the written agreement.
- Build the house to the NHBRC,s Home Building Manual.
- Make good any defects related to design, workmanship and materials, which occur within 90 days of occupation.
- Repair any roof leaks occurring within 12 months after occupation.
- Provide a five-year warranty on the structural integrity of the new house, i.e. superstructure (walls), substructure (foundations) and private drains.
- Get the homeowner to sign a letter confirming acceptance of occupation (for building contracts) and forward a copy of this letter to the NHBRC.
- The registered home builder must ensure that both he and the prospective home buyer complete and sign all relevant documents before construction commences.
The warranty scheme only applies to new houses built by home builders registered with the NHBRC. The enrolment provided by the registered home builder is transferred automatically to anyone who buys the house during the five-year warranty period.
Responsibilities of the new Home Buyer
- Check the reputation of the local home builder.
- Ask to see the home builder's current NHBRC Registration Certificate.
- Telephone the NHBRC to confirm whether the home builder is still registered.
- Take the time to inspect some of the houses built and completed by the registered home builder.
- Talk to home owners who have made use of the services of the home builder before.
- Make sure the home builder gives you a proper contract for the building of your new home.
- Keep a copy of the written agreement and all other documents.
- Meet the contractual and financial obligations of the home builder.
- Keep a record and proof of all payments made to the home builder.
- When you move into your new home, draw up a list of all the problems and defects (snag list) in your new home.
- The snag list should be handed over to the home builder within 90 days of date of occupation.
Important Documents for all Parties Involved
The following documents are important to the NHBRC, the home builder, the bank and the new home owner. All parties must make sure that these documents are properly completed and signed.
- The home builder's Registration Certificate (issued by the NHBRC).
- The Residential Unit Enrolment Certificate (issued by the NHBRC).
- The Residential Unit Enrolment Form (EF003) and all other relevant enrolment documentation.
- The payment documents for the enrolment fee payable by the home builder to the NHBRC.
- The building contract or deed of sale, for both land and buildings (where applicable).
- The plans and specifications of the home.
- All the engineering certificates.
- The snag list (which should be compiled by the home owner).
- The letter of occupation, signed by the new home owner on occupation of the house.
Who to contact for a House Inspection and Why?
The NHBRC Warranty covers the above issues on the structure of the building, but who can you contact to get a detailed inspection of your home for things the NHBRC do not cover.
There are good reasons to have a professional inspection performed on the brand new home you are buying.
- Purchasing a new home is likely one of, if not the largest financial decisions you'll ever make. The whole process is fraught with emotion and stress. A professional home inspection will substantially reduce the risk for your large investment in a new home. It just makes sense to learn as much as you can about the quality of your new home, before signing off on everything.
- Building a new home is a tremendously complex endeavour. It involves many people, usually split up into sub-contractor groups, each working on different parts and systems of the house. Even for the best builders, its nearly impossible to complete this process without missing something. Maybe its a plumbing fixture that didn't get tested for leaks, maybe its an electrical box that isn't working, or any one of dozens of minor problems that can easily be overlooked in such a major undertaking. Professional Inspectors will find such problems while it is still early enough for you to bring them up with the builder and have them corrected before you sign-off and start moving in.
- For the relatively small cost, a professional inspection of your new dream home can pay big dividends in peace of mind and getting any problems identified and corrected before they can become an unpleasant surprise.
- When the inspection is complete. You will receive a thorough written report. The inspectors will also discuss any routine maintenance tasks that are required to keep the home and its systems in top condition, as well as answer any questions you may have.
Contact Inspect-A-Home to find out how they can assist you during your building project.
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