How can they expect me to move into an unsafe house?
I AM currently building a house and had a few issues with my builder, so I contacted the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) as my house was registered with them for the building process.
One of the main issues was the construction of the roof. It has leaks and, after getting an independent roof company to have a look, it has been noted that it is structurally unstable.
The NHBRC has issued e-mails and letters to the builder but has not received any response from him.
The house is now at the final stage and I have a completed roof that is structurally defective.
If the NHBRC has taken the responsibility to oversee the building process and make sure the house is built to their standards, how did they allow it to get to this stage without picking up major structural defects?
I contacted them and asked if they will repair the roof as it was covered by their insurance. I was told ‘no, the NHBRC insurance only covers the consumer after occupation’.
Is there a waiver in place for this type of situation? I can’t move into a house that is not safe. I find it to be gross negligence on the part of the NHBRC as I paid them for a service which they did not carry out correctly.
So why have NHBRC inspectors? I paid R32 000 upfront to the NHBRC so they could oversee the build.
I was issued with a certificate indicating that the house was insured for R4.8 million. Now I’m told they only help after occupation. This is a total ripoff. My latest response from the NHBRC was that they have taken action against the contractor, but this doesn’t help me as I still have a roof that’s defective. I’ve been quoted R120 000 to repair it.
To ensure my home was built according to proper standards and specification, I utilised the services of NHBRC oversight, as I believed I would have the umbrella body of builders overseeing the construction of my home.
I’m told by an NHBRC representative that the only time I may lodge a complaint and claim compensation is once my family occupies the home. In accordance with this requirement, my family and I are expected to occupy a home with a severely defective roof. In essence, I am required to put the lives of my family in danger in order to lodge a claim! This defies all logic. It’s unacceptable. The oversight was at all material times conducted by an NHBRC inspector.
I’m now forced to rectify issues that should have been dealt with by the inspector. First, they tell me they can’t help as I needed to be living in the house in order for the insurance to kick in. Now it’s “we can’t use money from the funds if you fixed it yourself ”. What is the real answer? Why did the inspector not pick up the faults?
These were major faults. Lives could have been lost. I am just going to complete the house by myself. I don’t have the time and money to waste on this.
NHBRC spokesperson Tshepo Nkosi said: “The matter of the errant home builder is being addressed within the legal processes, as set out in the Housing Consumers Protection Act and it is anticipated that the process will be finalised within 120 days. The onus is on Mr Rambalie to wait for this process to unfold.
“Should Mr Rambalie elect to appoint a new builder to finish his house, it is imperative that the NHBRC is formally informed as this will have a direct impact on his Warranty Fund cover. This is done so that the new builder takes over all liabilities for the completed house.”