Mar 052013

The NHBRC – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Houses 510 NHBRC   Q&As


The NHBRC has a page with a number of questions that we also get on this website. The most common questions and answers we have listed here below with thanks to the NHBRC.  We must point out to all home owners and potential home owners, as well as all contractors and home builders, that the home being built has to be registered with the NHBRC. The builder or contractor also has to be registered with the NHBRC. The NHBRC will not consider a claim or complaint if this is not done. If the house or contractor have not registered then they have broken the law and might be liable to a fine. There are links to the NHBRC site at the end of the Q&A’s where you will find more answers.


Q - How Does One Know Whether A Builder Is Registered With The NHBRC?

A - The NHBRC has established customer centers in all provinces. To find out if a builder is registered with the NHBRC you can contact your nearest customer center, search online or by calling the toll free number 0800200824.


Q - Does The NHBRC Conduct Inspections?

A - Every new house constructed must be inspected. If the house is enrolled prior to construction, the NHBRC is afforded the opportunity to carry out all necessary inspections. The number of inspections conducted per house is a function of the size and the complexity of the design of the house.


Q - What Does The NHBRC Inspect?

A - The following inspections are carried out:

Roof height
Practical completion
And waterproofing


Q - How Many Inspections Are Carried Out By The NHBRC In The Building Process Up To Completion Of A House?

A - A minimum of four inspections are carried out to ensure that the house is of good quality and that it will be fit for habitation. Housing consumers and home builders are encouraged to demand an inspection from the NHBRC during construction.


Q - How Does The NHBRC Handle Complaints?

A - The NHBRC has established complaint handling mechanisms, which have assisted many housing consumers. Each complaint is professionally and speedily processed on behalf of the housing consumer. According to our records the NHBRC has not failed any housing consumer who had a genuine structural defect. All home owners, public and private institutions and media houses are advised to send all the complaints received by it to the NHBRC for evaluation.


Q - What Should a Home Owner Do When There Is a Problem with a Builder’s Work?

A - The housing consumer (home owner) should contact the home builder within three to seven days. The housing consumer can approach the NHBRC if the home builder fails to attend to the problem.


Q - Under What Circumstances Will The NHBRC Do Remedial Work To My House?

A - The NHBRC is responsible for repair of major structural defects which occur to an enrolled home.  The process is initiated once it is established that the home builder is either liquidated, unwilling or is unable to undertake remedial works. When the homebuilder disputes the findings and recommendations in the conciliation report or the recommendation of a competent person (Engineer), the NHBRC will assist the housing consumer by undertaking remedial work.


Q - What Happens If Major Structural Defects Arise Within The First Five Years Of Occupation?

A - The NHBRC’s fund for rectification covers a home which includes:

Private drainage system from the structure up to the municipal connection or the cesspit connection
Any garage or storeroom
Any permanent outbuilding designed for residential purposes
Any retaining wall
In the case of sectional title unit, it includes the common property in terms of the sectional Titles Act.


There are more Answers on the NHBRC site.

  100 Responses to “NHBRC – Q&A’s”

Comments (100)
  1. i am a building student, i have an assignment and i need assistance. the question says: “you receive a frantic call from the client which notes his concern that the building is not registered with the NHBRC as per Housing Protection Act, and fears of non compliance. advise the client and note any steps which need to be taken in this regard.

    • Sinotando, If you read the information on this page, it will give you a good idea of the procedures that have to be followed. There is also a link to their page on that page. Here is a link to the NHBRC site where you can download the Housing Protection Act.
      This is from their site:
      “Enrolment of new homes
      The Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 1998 requires all new homes to be enrolled with the NHBRC 15 days prior to construction. The home enrolment insures consumers against poor building practises and permits the NHBRC to conduct building inspections at key stages of construction. Enrolment of homes is subject to a fee which is scaled according to the value of the home.”
      If this is not done, the builder can be prosecuted. It isn’t clear from the question what role you are playing in the build, presumably the architect or draughtsperson. If so you would get in touch with the builder and make sure the house was immediately enrolled. The process is explained on the NHBRC website. Good luck with your assignment.

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