To avoid any legal comeback, check to see if your DIY jobs are compliant with NZ regulations, specifically related to electrical work, smoke alarms, trade rules, consents and code of compliance.
DIY repairs and maintenance can cost more than what you were trying to save in the first place so use the advice below to get your property compliant and legal.
Building compliance matters can turn into legal nightmares if pushed on the back-burner or shoddy DIY work has been done, either by your or the previous owner.
Non-disclosure of issues relating to the integrity of a building can result in legal action against you, or your real estate agent if selling your house.
Health Housing - He Kainga Oranga, a Government initiative implemented a Rental Housing Warrant of Fitness in August 2017.
Use their WOF test on your property if it's tenanted, if you intend selling or just for peace of mind.
What are the DIY trade guidelines in NZ?
DIY and Building Industry Trade Rules, Regulations and Restrictions - the legal lowdown:
- Consumer NZ provides advice about working safely with electricity, at heights, with lead, asbestos, gas or plumbing.
- For larger renovations or improvements, the Building Guide provides comprehensive information about regulations, building consent and amendments to these, resource consents, PIMS and choosing a builder.
Check if you need a licensed tradesperson
There are certain jobs where DIY work is illegal and you will require a licensed tradesperson. Find out what's involved in any sanitary plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying work or find a licensed tradie.
This lists the industry bodies that provide the safest way to find a licensed trades people for whatever work you need done.
Consumer NZ reports on multi boxes that have been recalled due to fire risk. Check whether you have one in your house.
- Electrical repairs and maintenance are not for the faint-hearted. It is advisable not to do your own electrical work due to the issues and safety risks.
- If you want advice from a lawyer, Property Lawyers can be found here. Choose your region and you will be provided with a list of lawyers that specialise in property.
Get the latest from Consumer NZ on smoke alarms and what they recommend.
Common safety issues with electrical work
Although produced for the electrical tradespeople, the Electrical Workers Registration Board reports common issues with electrical work.
If you've done DIY electrical work, get a licensed sparky to check it and sign it off as compliant when it is.
Prioritise compliance if selling a house
Skipping compliance can be very expensive, legally messy and can result in a real estate sale falling over if your property has a DIY job that's non-compliant.
If you have done a substandard job, not met your council's code of compliance or do not comply with trade regulations, these can come back to haunt you and often just when you think you have closed the sale.
Building inspections are most often a condition of sale for a purchaser, as is getting insurance which has become harder to get since the Christchurch and Wellington earthquakes.
The consequences of non-compliance or shoddy DIY work are plentiful and never good. If you want to sell your house and need more advice about sorting your code of compliance or want to know more about the process, ask us for help here - it's a free service.
You might also like:
- One stop shop for everything about selling property
- Hidden costs of not selling first time around
- Sale and Purchase - the fine print - before you sign
Article Updated 20 June 2019