GET IT RIGHT: The legal options when it comes to leaky homes

Nov 6, 2020 | News

So, you’ve established you have a leaky home. Sadly, this news is a reality for thousands of New Zealanders whose homes were built between 1988 and 2004.

If you meet the criteria for eligibility, then you can make a claim under the Weathertight Resolution Services Act.

To apply for assistance in rectifying your leaky home you must be the home’s owner; the home must have been built/altered within the past ten years and before January 12, 2012; and there must be evidence that the house is a ‘leaky home’.

Once lodged, your claim can be assessed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Weathertight Services.

It is important to make a claim as soon as possible once you recognise you have a leaky home, as there is a 10-year cut-off period for claims under the Weathertight Resolution Services Act.

The first step is to fill out a Declaration of Interest form. MBIE will assign you a claims advisor, who will be your first port of call, keeping you up-to-date with your claim’s progress. MBIE will notify your local council about the claim, and this information is then added to your property’s LIM.

Your assessor will check that your home qualifies as a ‘leaky home’; that the leaks have caused damage to your home; and that your home was built or altered within the previous ten years. You will then fill out your formal Weathertight Claim Application and your assessor will examine the likely causes and extent of the damage.

If you do not wish to lodge a formal claim, you can also try to negotiate any settlement with your builder, via the Disputes Tribunal or via the High Court. If you plan on taking legal action, it is highly advised to employ a legal representative who is skilled in the area of leaky homes.

Know that you do have rights and there are organisations on-hand to help you navigate the situation. Contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Weathertight Services to find out more information or to begin your claim.