Mar 052013

The NHBRC – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

A row of suburban houses


The NHBRC has a page with a number of questions that we also get on this website. The most common questions and answers we have listed here below with thanks to the NHBRC.  We must point out to all home owners and potential home owners, as well as all contractors and home builders, that the new home being built must, by law, be registered with the NHBRC. The builder or contractor also has to be registered with the NHBRC. The NHBRC will not consider a claim or complaint if this is not done. If the house or contractor has not been registered then they have broken the law and might be liable to a fine. There are links to the NHBRC site at the end of the Q&A’s where you will find more answers.


Q – How Does One Know Whether A Builder Is Registered With The NHBRC?

A – The NHBRC has established customer centers in all provinces. To find out if a builder is registered with the NHBRC you can contact your nearest customer center, search online or by calling the toll free number 0800200824.


Q – Does The NHBRC Conduct Inspections?

A – Every new house constructed must be inspected. If the house is enrolled prior to construction, the NHBRC is afforded the opportunity to carry out all necessary inspections. The number of inspections conducted per house is a function of the size and the complexity of the design of the house.


Q – What Does The NHBRC Inspect?

A – The following inspections are carried out:

Roof height
Practical completion
And waterproofing


Q – How Many Inspections Are Carried Out By The NHBRC In The Building Process Up To Completion Of A House?

A – A minimum of four inspections are carried out to ensure that the house is of good quality and that it will be fit for habitation. Housing consumers and home builders are encouraged to demand an inspection from the NHBRC during construction.


Q – How Does The NHBRC Handle Complaints?

A – The NHBRC has established complaint handling mechanisms, which have assisted many housing consumers. Each complaint is professionally and speedily processed on behalf of the housing consumer. According to our records the NHBRC has not failed any housing consumer who had a genuine structural defect. All home owners, public and private institutions and media houses are advised to send all the complaints received by it to the NHBRC for evaluation.


Q – What Should a Home Owner Do When There Is a Problem with a Builder’s Work?

A – The housing consumer (home owner) should contact the home builder within three to seven days. The housing consumer can approach the NHBRC if the home builder fails to attend to the problem.


Q – Under What Circumstances Will The NHBRC Do Remedial Work To My House?

A – The NHBRC is responsible for repair of major structural defects which occur to an enrolled home.  The process is initiated once it is established that the home builder is either liquidated, unwilling or is unable to undertake remedial works. When the homebuilder disputes the findings and recommendations in the conciliation report or the recommendation of a competent person (Engineer), the NHBRC will assist the housing consumer by undertaking remedial work.


Q – What Happens If Major Structural Defects Arise Within The First Five Years Of Occupation?

A – The NHBRC’s fund for rectification covers a home which includes:

Private drainage system from the structure up to the municipal connection or the cesspit connection
Any garage or storeroom
Any permanent outbuilding designed for residential purposes
Any retaining wall
In the case of sectional title unit, it includes the common property in terms of the sectional Titles Act.


There are more Answers on the NHBRC site.



  259 Responses to “NHBRC – Q&A’s”

Comments (259)
  1. Hi,

    I’m a trustee on a new Body Corporate.
    The building quality in out complex is on shocking side.
    Is it possible to get the NHBRC involved?
    The developer has said to us that they offer zero warranty on their building.
    In less that a yer, we are already starting to develop a serious damp problem, and have uncovered many shortcuts which were taken during the building phase, and are going to turn into major long term issues.


    • If this is a newish building then yes you can. The builder should have been registered with the NHBRC as should all the houses in the complex. This means they will be covered by the standard NHBRC warranty. If the builder wasn’t registered, he built illegally and the developer will be implicated. In that case the NHBRC should take action as well. The NHBRC warranty is valid for five years I think.

  2. Good day.

    my house was newly built with nhbrc registered contractor and it was enrolled.

    I’ve moved in recently and within 3 weeks I noted that the floor tiles are badly done, to an extent that a all chairs’ feet don’t touch floor. raised the issue with contractor, it was attended to not satisfaction and he declared it done and complete. I’m not satisfied and his not willing to redo the whole floor. can the NHBRC intervene?

  3. please, I need advice, my friend has a hectare plot in Nelspruit and gave us permission to build a house , which would be a second dwelling on the plot, what are the regulations with regards to this and what needs and must be done to protect all parties involved

    • The house will need to be built according to the building regulations and you will need approved plans. The council will have to give permission for a second dwelling. You will have to come to an agreement with your friend in terms of ownership via a separate contract or legal agreement.

  4. Hi,
    we bought a house which was not fully completed. the builders finished it and now its giving me problems with the walls and tiles cracking, the sealing separating from the walls. I called the builders and it seems they just put silicon on the cracks. we living in the house for 1 and a half year.

    what should I do, please help

    • The house should have been built by an NHBRC-registered builder and the house should have been enrolled. If this was done then you will be covered by the NHBRC warranty. If not, the building is illegal!

  5. Hi

    I want to add a garage and a room in my house, should I get the NHBRC to do the inspections.


    • Hi Sydney, The NHBRC ONLY deals with new houses not with additions or alterations. That is down to your local authority planning department.

  6. Hi Penny,

    What are ‘normal working hours’ ?

    May work be carried out on a public holiday?

  7. I wish to become a registered builder. Are there any specific courses i must do before i apply for registration? Which institutions would you recommend? thanks in advance for the answer

  8. As a registered builder, I submitted all.relevent documents to the nhbrc for enrolment and paid to thr nhbrc the amount rquired before building. However, I did not manage to pick certificate from the nhbrc, but I called them, and was verbally given the go ahead.(now difficult to prove). The nhbrc wants to clasify our building as a late enrolment with possile fine approx R300k. How do I go about this as I feel the lacking is with the nhbrc for not coming to inspect at the time of submition. May I also mention that the construction so far is at window level ground floor. Waiting reply.

    • If you paid for enrolment you must have proof of when this was done. You should also be able to prove when you started building. If you paid for enrolment prior to starting the build how can they fine you for late enrolment? You might need a lawyer!

      • I am building with my money and I am not planning to sell but the inspector from nhbrc has stop the construction

        • All building contractors must be registered with the NHBRC and all houses must be enrolled. The only exception is an owner builder who has applied and been granted an exemption.

  9. Three years ago when my builder build my house he was not registerd with the NHBRC. But he is now registerd. Problems which are arising now is as follow my foundation slab is only 100mm thick not 300 mm as on the plans. My wals are cracking because of tile roof support .the one beam snapped. When i had him here to look at it he said it was only a plaster crack. Can i stil lodged a complant with the NHBRC.

    • If your builder wasn’t registered in the time your house wasn’t enrolled – and so you have no recourse to the NHBRC.

  10. Good day,

    I have been informed that a builder should only be registered if he construct new buildings or do extentions to buildings and that it is not necessary if the contractor only does building repairs.

    Is the replacement of a roof beam or the installation of an extra beam, seen as building repairs?

    • Only contractors building new houses need to be registered with the NHBRC. Replacement of roof beams would be repairs/maintenance.

  11. Hallo.

    What are the steps to take for a builder to register with NHBRC.



  12. I want to buy a house but the estate agent informed me the house is bot registered by the NHBRC. Can something be done in this instance to get the house registered?

    • Not once it is built. If it was owner built it shouldn’t be an issue. It also depends what your bank needs if you are raising a bond.

  13. Goodday sir/madam
    What should i do if my builder is not registered with NHRBC. and can i ask NHRBC to come inspect it even if it is not registered.

    Thank you

    • If your builder isn’t registered then he is building fraudulently and you should report him to the NHBRC. And no they will not do inspections. Both the builder and the house being built need to be registered with them.

  14. Hi, I purchased a house which the neighbour’s buildings is build on the boundary line and the windows open into my property. What can I do?
    Await your reply

    • If the building was already there when you bought your house there’s probably nothing you can do. You can ask the local authority for advice though.

      • Probably illegal, it is irrelevant if it was there or not. there are building lines which needs to be followed. If it is a illegal structure time doesn’t make it legal. report them and get it broken down.

        There is also laws protecting privacy etc.


  15. What is the liability period for a contractor to repair the two different cracks: settlement and structural

    • If you belong to the NHBRC and they are involved, they will advise. Otherwise it depends on your contract with the owner of the house.

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