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### tvnz.co.nz 6:03PM Wednesday December 31, 2014 Source: ONE News
Construction cowboys watch out
New building laws targeting construction cowboys are coming into force on New Year’s Day. Builders on big jobs have to be more open with clients or risk being fined. Every building job costing more than $30,000 will now need to be covered by a detailed contract.
“That’s going to have to outline your rights, their obligations, including the value of the work, when it’s going to start, when it’s likely to finish [and] if there’s any problems how you’ll resolve them,” says Sue Chetwin, Consumer chief executive.
Before they can start work, builders will also have to reveal their skills and qualifications, what sort of warranty is on offer and their level of insurance cover. And they’ll have to provide a checklist, setting out the client’s rights and explaining the building process. Failure to comply with any of the new rules will attract a fine of $500.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment —
Building & Housing Information
Building Amendment Act 2013
The Building Amendment Act 2013 was passed by Parliament on 27 November 2013. It is the result of a comprehensive review into the Building Act 2004.
This Amendment Act is part of a package of changes which introduce new measures to improve the building and construction sector, ensuring that it delivers good quality, affordable homes and buildings and contributes to a prosperous economy.
New Zealand lawyers Buddle Findlay on Strengthening consumer protection measures in the Building Act (11.7.14):
Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith announced yesterday that, from 1 January 2015, building contractors will be required to have written contracts, provide information on their relevant skills, experience and qualifications, and disclose their insurance and warranty cover for residential building work valued at over $30,000.
These new requirements are part of the wider consumer protection measures introduced in November last year by the Building Amendment Act 2013 (the Act), which will also come into force on 1 January 2015, and which strengthen the consumer protection measures currently contained in the Building Act 2004 (Building Act).
We consider that the consumer protection measures in the Act are a major evolution to consumers’ rights in the residential construction industry. The government is aiming for these legislative changes to have a significant impact on the way the industry operates – a fundamental behavioural change on the part of both consumers and building contractors.
The purpose of the consumer protection measures in the Act is to move away from the heavy reliance on building consent authorities for building quality and incentivise building professionals and trades people to take responsibility for the quality of their work and to stand behind it.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr