New Zealand Law Society - Homeowners advised to get legal advice

Homeowners advised to get legal advice

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The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is running an information and education programme to remind homeowners about their rights and responsibilities when building or renovating.

The consumer protection measures were introduced into the Building Act in 2015 and relate to residential building work only. Included in the measures is that homeowners must have a written contract for building work costing $30,000 or more (including GST).

MBIE recommends that homeowners have a contract even if the work will cost less, so everyone has an understanding of obligations, requirements and expectations.

An important message from the homeowner education programme is to get legal advice before signing.

MBIE says lawyers can help to champion change across the building and construction industry by encouraging homeowners to make informed decisions about building work when they are buying a home or section.

"When dealing with clients on a property matter, lawyers may like to recommend as a useful resource if they’re planning to build or renovate. The website provides advice and guidelines on building regulation so more New Zealanders will be able to understand their rights and obligations – leading to safer, healthier, more durable buildings for everyone."

The website also includes a video on the consumer protection measures and comprehensive information on why having a written contract for residential building work is desirable.