Warranties and guarantees (NHBRC)

When your house is ready for you to move in and you have signed your letter of satisfaction (otherwise known as the happy letter), the responsibility of maintenance becomes that of the homeowner.

The items below are covered for the first three months after occupation. Thereafter, it becomes the homeowner’s maintenance.

Covered for the first three months:

  • Cracks.
  • Windows and door adjustments.
  • Any defects noted that are not caused by misuse or alterations.

In the first year, Cosmopolitan Projects will do the following repairs provided they were not caused by misuse or alterations:

  • Geyser and Stove (1-year warranty only): This warranty does not cover geyser element burnout. Any work done or changes to your geyser or stove will invalidate this warranty.
  • Roof Leaks (1-year warranty only): This warranty will not cover damages caused by storms and only applies to the roof structure. It does not apply to the roof coverings, like roof tiles, nor facias and barge boards. If you have moved any tiles to do repairs, or if the roof was changed in any way after you moved into the house, this warranty will no longer be valid.
  • Electrical (only within one year after occupation): This excludes the replacement of globes. Any work done or changes to the electrical installation will invalidate this warranty.
  • Plumbing Leaks (only within one year after occupation): Any work done or changes to the plumbing will invalidate this warranty.

Lastly, your house’s structure comes with a 5-year warranty by the NHBRC, but please note that if you do any structural work or make any changes to your house’s structure, this warranty will also be invalidated.

What is the role of the NHBRC?

The NHBRC’s role is to protect homeowners’ interests and ensure that builders comply with the prescribed building industry standards as contained in the Home Building Manual, regardless of the size or value of your home.

This includes protecting homeowners from:

  • Substandard houses
  • Poor workmanship
  • Inferior quality of material

The NHBRC is governed by the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act, 1998 (Act No.95 of 1998). This act states that the NHBRC’s role is to:

(a) Represent the interests of housing consumers by providing warranty protection against defects in new homes.

(b) Regulate the home building industry.

(c) Protect housing consumers in respect of the failure of home builders to comply with their obligations in terms of this act.

(d) Establish and promote ethical and technical standards in the home building industry.

(e) Improve structural quality in the interests of housing consumers and the home-building industry.

(f) Promote housing consumer rights and provide housing consumer information.

(g) Communicate with and assist home builders in registering in terms of this act.

(h) Assist home builders, through training and inspection, to achieve and maintain satisfactory technical standards of home building.

How to lodge a complaint with the NHBRC

Should you experience issues with your house that are covered under the NHBRC warranty, you can lodge a complaint by downloading a complaint form from their website or through their online services portal at this link: https://www.nhbrc.org.za/how-to-lodge-a-complaint/.

You can lodge a complaint if:

  • The home builder does not respond within the period specified to your complaints.
  • The home builder fails to honour their obligations.
  • You and the home builder have an unresolved dispute regarding the builder’s liability.

Before you submit a claim, you must:

  • Notify the home builder in writing of all complaints requiring attention within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Keep a copy of all the correspondence between yourself and the home builder.
  • Allow the home builder reasonable access to the premises to repair or inspect the defects.
  • Ensure that you’ve met all the financial obligations to the home builder.

The NHBRC will ensure that the home builder rectifies the following:

  • Minor defects within three months of occupation.
  • Roof leaks within one year from the date of occupation.
  • Major structural defects within five years from the date of occupation.

To lodge a complaint with the NHBRC, you will need:

  • Proof of occupation date of the home (municipal occupation certificate).
  • Proof of notifications sent to the home builder within the necessary timeframe.
  • A complete list of the terms of the dispute as notified to the home builder.

Then you should:

  • Download and fill out the NHBRC’s complaint form.
  • Lodge the complaint with all the supporting documentation at the nearest NHBRC provincial customer service centre or email them to your nearest provincial customer care office.

The NHBRC will then provide a dispute and resolution process.

For more information, you can visit their website at https://www.nhbrc.org.za, or call them on their toll-free number at 0800 200 824.