Caveat Emptor: Cheap is Not Always Cheap

Homes Ownership checklist

Most consumers don't know that NHBRC is there to help them be wise when it comes to building their dream homes

In Brief

The National Home Builders Registration Councilprovides a comprehensive guide for people that are planning to employ contractors to build or renovate their homes.

You, consumers are being warned; don’t be fooled by those home builders-wannabe. They are all over the country. Before engaging a builder to modify or build that dream home, ensure that all the boxes outlined by the National Home Builders Registration Council are checked. There are no shortcuts otherwise that dream home could turn out to be your graveyard…

The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) is a statutory body for the home building industry. Their goal is to assist and protect housing consumers who have been exposed to contractors who deliver housing units of substandard design, workmanship and poor quality material. No matter the size or value of your home building project, you better regard the NHBRC as your first port of call as the Council is mainly there to help and protect you, your family and investments.

The executives of this regulatory body, established in accordance with the provisions of The Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act (Act No. 95 of 1998) were glad to share their checklist with uSpiked’s readers.

Before you build or buy your new home

It is your [consumer] right and responsibility to ensure that:

  • your home builder is registered with the NHBRC. This can be verified through the:
    • NHBRC website at
    • NHBRC toll-free number (0800 200 824)
    • NHBRC provincial or satellite office nearest to you.
    • your home builder is a reputable builder with experience and a good profile by checking:
      • the number of  houses enrolled;
      • the number of complaints lodged against the builder; and
      • references from other housing consumers who has experienced the quality of service   provided by the home builder.
      • you sign a contract with the home builder.
      • your signed contract with the home builder must stipulate progress payments in phases until the completion of construction.
      • you obtain approved building plans from your local municipality.
      • your home builder enrolls your home with the NHBRC at least 15 days prior to commencing with construction.
      • you verify with the NHBRC if the house is enrolled prior to commencement of construction.
      • you as home owner, receive an enrolment certificate confirming that the house is enrolled with NHBRC.
      • your registered home builder provides you with guidelines of the structure before construction.
      • your registered home builder confirms that the home will be built in accordance with NHBRC’S Home   Builders manual or NHBRC/ Agreement South Africa’s technical requirements.

If you follow these requirements and ensure that your house is enrolled; the NHBRC will:

  • conduct a minimum of four inspections on your house, to see if the construction is properly done; and
  • deal with complaints of non-compliance during construction.
  • your house will be covered by a five-year warranty scheme against major structural defects, calculated from the date of occupation.
  • the builder will be obliged to rectify:
    • any deviation from the terms, plans and specifications of the agreement  or any deficiency related to design, workmanship  or material that you notify him of in writing within three months  of occupation;
      • roof leaks you notify him of in writing within one year of occupation; and
      • major structural defects  you inform him of in writing within five years of occupation;

In the event that a builder is unable or unwilling to rectify reported defects, the NHBRC can rectify the defects, following the completion by the housing consumer of a complaint and conciliation process.

•Maximum amounts payable:

•The cover is for 5 years on major structural defects

•The maximum amount payable is the lesser of the Enrolment Value or R500,000

•The payable amount includes professional fees + accommodation + transport.


**The information above has been provided by the Council’s Media Specialist.**