Five months have now passed since the Building Amendment Act 2013 brought into force new consumer protection measures aimed at arming consumers with new rights and remedies in relation to residential building work.

From 1 January 2015, builders have been required to have written contracts, provide information on their relevant skills, experience and qualifications, and disclose their insurance and warranty cover. Builders who fail to comply with the new requirements face instant fines from the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment.

MBIE insists it will investigate all complaints of builder non-compliance, to ensure that the new laws improve the standard of our building and construction industry.

At $500 per breach, the instant fines should provide the incentive needed to hasten compliance. MBIE has indicated that builders who are slow to react to the new laws could face fines in respect of every job on their books.

With the introduction of the consumer protection measures already behind us, now is the time to review your residential build contracts and Building Act compliance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.