What is the NHBRC??

 

The NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) is an organ of state established in terms of the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 95 of 1998.

When was the NHBRC founded?

 

On 26 March 2001 a Statutory Council was installed, in accordance with the provisions of “The Act”.

What purpose does the NHBRC serve?

 

To regulate the Home Building Environment, assist and protect Housing Consumers against Developers, Home Builders and Building Contractors who deliver homes of substandard design and workmanship of poor quality.

What is covered by the NHBRC warranty scheme?

 

Major structure for five years, roof for one year, finishes for three months. The warranty starts when the housing consumer first occupies the home.

Does “The Act” make provision for Alterations, Additions, and Improvements?

 

Alterations and additions to an existing residential structure is excluded from enrolment. It is advisable that your building plans reflecting the deviations from the original plans clearly indicate alterations and additions. Changes to the original plan during construction should be approved by the NHBRC prior to implementation. It may be wise to apply and obtain a letter of exclusion from the NHBRC prior to commencement to satisfy your financial institution. Contact The Facilitators if you need such a letter.

Does the NHBRC conduct Inspections?

 

The NHBRC may require the Home Builder to notify the inspectorate of key stages of construction determined by the NHBRC in time to allow the NHBRC to arrange for inspection at its own discretion.

In Gauteng, you are required to complete the inspection form and send it to the NHBRC via email () five working days prior to commencement of critical construction stages. These stages are the foundations, superstructure, practical completion, and stormwater. To our knowledge the other provinces do not have such a process in place at this stage.

How does the NHBRC handle Complaints?

 

The NHBRC has established a complaint handling mechanism, which has assisted many Housing Consumers. Each complaint is professionally and speedily processed on behalf of the Housing Consumer. All Home Owners are advised to send all the complaints to the NHBRC for evaluation.

The NHBRC may deal with a complaint in one of the following ways:

  • Accept the complaint
  • Advise that the complaint falls outside the scope of “The Act” and notify the Housing Consumer of its decision and its reasons.
  • Request the parties to resolve the matter through legal proceedings as the matter falls outside the scope of “The Act”

The Home Builder must:

  • Confirm whether they deny or accept the complaint,
  • Confirm when any rectification work or other appropriate action will be required,
  • Arrange necessary access to allow rectification with the Home Owner.

What is Conciliation?

 

This is a process where the NHBRC calls both the Home Owner (Housing Consumer) and Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor to site to check which items of the Home Owner’s complaints are valid and need to be rectified, with the aim of resolving the dispute.

What does Conciliation cover?

 

Conciliation covers all relevant structural defects and concerns reported by the Home Owner. It also clarifies the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor’s responsibility and the Home Owner’s obligations.

How do I make a claim against a NHBRC registered Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor?

 

If your new home was not enrolled with the NHBRC and you have no certificate to prove enrolment, the NHBRC will not cover any defects and will not get involved with any claim.

If your new home was enrolled, the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor and Home Owner must try to resolve their differences in a reasonable manner before referring a complaint to the NHBRC.

Before submitting a complaint to the NHBRC, the Home Owner should:

  • Notify the Home Builder in writing of all the complaints requiring attention within the applicable time periods set out in Section 13 (2) (b) of “the Act”. (see response timetable below)
  • Keep a copy of the letter of complaint and proof of the date that it was sent/delivered to the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor.
  • Allow the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor reasonable access to the site to effect rectification

The Home Owner may refer a complaint to the NHBRC if any of the following conditions apply:

  • The Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor does not respond within the periods specified in the table below
  • The Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor fails to honour their obligations.
  • There is an unresolved dispute between the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor and the Home Owner regarding the extent of the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor’s liability.

Response Timetable for the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor:

Type of Complaint Period for the Home Builder to respond or action
Three-month non-compliance 30 working days
One-year roof leak 7 days
Five-year major structural defect period 7 days
Deposit theft or irregularity Refer complaint to Commercial Crime Unit
Contractual disputes Refer to your legal representative/attorney

Procedure to lodge a complaint:

  • Phone the NHBRC’s toll free number: 0800 200 824.
  • Complete the complaint form.
  • Include: Proof of the occupation date of the home, if applicable (e.g. Home Owner’s Happy Letter at occupation or Local Council’s occupation certificate).• Proof of notification to the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor within the necessary time periods.
  • A complete list of the items in dispute.

The NHBRC will deal with claims and explain the exact procedures.

Under which circumstances will the NHBRC do remedial work to my house?

 

The NHBRC is responsible for repair of major structural defects which occur to enrolled homes, once it is established that the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor is either liquidated, unwilling or unable to undertake remedial works.

Does the NHBRC maintain a schedule of Registered and/or Approved Contractors?

 

Yes, the NHBRC has a list of all registered Developers, Home Builders or Building Contractors. You can find the list and do a search for registered Developers, Home Builders and Building Contractors on the NHBRC’s website.

How can one find out if Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor is reputable?

 

A track record means a lot in this business. Find out how long they have been operating for. Do a Google search on the company name and check out completed developments. Get hold of the chairperson of the body corporate and ask them a couple of probing questions. The Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor must be registered with the NHBRC.

If you want to add a double garage to an existing home either attached or detached to the home, must it be enrolled with the NHBRC?

 

A garage is not a residential building and does not need to be enrolled if it is an extension of the home or detached.

A garage needs to be enrolled if it is attached to a newly built dwelling.

I am building cash, so the bank does not need to see an enrolment certificate. Do I still need to enrol the Home?

 

Your Conveyancing Attorney is obliged by law to make sure that all newly built houses are enrolled with the NHBRC as per Act No 95 of 1998.

All residential units, whether built cash, with a bond of for rental or leasing purposes, needs to be enrolled with the NHBRC prior to construction start.

Can a Seller/Home Builder/Building Contractor sell a house "voetstoots"?

 

Yes, a Seller, Home Builder or Building Contractor can insist on selling a house as "voetstoots" when it is an existing home. Only in a case where you have a new home built and there is a building agreement between the Home Owner and Home Builder it will not be "voetstoots".

Voetstoots, means that you purchase the house as you see it. It is a good idea to add a clause to your agreement that you have a period of at least ninety (90) days to submit a "Snag List" which will be rectified by the Developer, Home Builder or Building Contractor, at his expense within a certain period (e.g. thirty (30) days after receipt of the list).

The Purchaser must make sure that the house is enrolled with the NHBRC before construction proceeds and obtain the "ORIGINAL ENROLMENT CERTIFICATE" on that specific property. Ensure that the Property Description corresponds with the Title Deed description. This certificate is also your Warranty on the structure for 5 (five) years and roof for 1 (one) year and “snag list” on or before ninety (90) days after occupation of the Home by the Home Owner.

If your question was not listed, please contact us here or on 0861 2 ENROL (3 6765)