before you build

NHBRC- What it is all about

  • Creation Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2019

The NHBRC is a statutory body whose primary function is to protect the homeowner against defined defects in terms of the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act (No95 of 1998)

The NHBRC has a very broad function and responsibility within the built environment to see that a high level of workmanship is obtained through training, monitoring and inspections, all aimed at ensuring quality at all levels within the building industry.

The NHBRC provides warranty protection for homeowners to cover them in the event that sub-standard workmanship leads to a defined defect or where a builder fails to comply with their obligations in terms of the Act.

Every new home that is built in South Africa firstly needs to be built by a contractor who has been registered with the NHBRC and therefore meets the minimum standard of training and expertise that they require. That contractor then needs to enrol the house that he has been contracted to build with the NHBRC 15 days before any work is started. The homeowner is required to pay an enrolment fee which is calculated on a sliding scale based on the selling price of the home which includes the value of the plot up to a maximum of R34 000.

If building work has been started either before enrolment has been registered or even sidestepped by the owner or builder, then a late enrolment fee which is additional to the normal fee will apply. In addition, certification of soil conditions and of foundations or other structural items may be required by the NHBRC together with the late enrolment.

There are 3 areas that are covered by the warranty where the contractor who has been employed by you has not met with his obligations. A three month non-compliance period which deals with repairs of minor defects within the three months after you have received the Occupation Certificate. A one-year roof leak period and a five year major structural defect period.

It is important that you check on the enrolment of your house, particularly when building in a complex where a developer is building a number of units, that there are no mix-ups and that you receive confirmation that it has been correctly enrolled.

I would further advise that you visit the NHBRC website ( www.nhbrc.org.za ) as there is quite a lot of good information there that you will find useful.

Article written by Les Abbott. PrArch. All About Building.