Bringing a claim
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Important things to consider before making a claim
There are some serious implications of taking a claim under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act. Your claims advisor will keep you informed about these as you move through the claims process, but the following are the main things consider:
- Both the FAP and dispute resolution involve invasive testing of your home. Holes will be drilled into its cladding to confirm the weather tight issues. These will be repaired as best as possible after testing, but you will be responsible for completely repairing the damage.
- Both options involve some financial cost.
- When you make a claim that will be recorded on your property’s Land Information Memorandum (LIM), regardless of the outcome.
- Information you provide about your claim may be available under the Official Information Act or to other parties to your claim. This can include personal information you provide, such as the impact of stress.
Remember, if in doubt call the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The goal is to get more homes fixed as soon as possible. We are committed to helping you throughout the process.
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Stop the clock
Under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service Act 2006, a 10 year limit was set for bringing a claim. That meant that your house had to have been built or altered (if the alterations leak) within 10 years of the date of lodging a claim. Additionally, building or alterations to the property must have been completed before the 1st of January, 2012. There is no change to the 10 year limit under the Financial Assistance Package. Homeowners are advised to register with the Ministry as soon as possible to start the claim process.
Homeowners close to the 10 year limit can “stop the clock” by lodging a correctly completed claim now.
Once a claim is lodged, and following an assessment organised by the Ministry, eligible homeowners may choose to take up the financial assistance offered by the Government and their local territorial authority.
You can start your claim by completing the relevant claim application form on this site.
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Assessment - this is a two stage process
A claim is allocated to a Claims Advisor who will establish whether the claim is capable of meeting the eligibility criteria. If your claim is accepted, we commission an Eligibility Assessment on your claim. This involves invasive testing of your home and a search of other information held about your property.
The report will:
- confirm if your claim is eligible under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act
- indicate whether your property is likely to need targeted repairs or a full re-clad.
Following the eligibility assessment, the Chief Executive of the Ministry will decide whether the claim is eligible to proceed to the next assessment stage. If in the assessor’s opinion the claim is ineligible, the claimant will be given a chance to make a submission to the Chief Executive on eligibility before a decision is made (see Guidelines for claimant submissions).
If the Chief Executive decides that the claim is ineligible and the claimant disagrees with the decision, they can appeal to the Chair of the Weathertight Homes Tribunal to have their claim eligibility reconsidered.
The Eligibility Assessment will recommend one of two types of report, depending on the extent of damage and whether you have plans to take legal action.
1. Full Assessor’s Report
The Full Assessor’s Report gives a detailed analysis of the home and the full scope of work needed to fix it. If you’re planning dispute resolution or other legal action you’ll need this report to support that.
A Full Assessor’s Report costs $511.11 (including GST) for a stand-alone property or single unit claim, $1,022.22 (including GST) for a duplex (2 units) or $1,533.33 (including GST) for a multi-unit complex.
2. Concise Assessor’s Report
If your Eligibility Assessment found that a full re-clad is needed the Ministry may recommend a Concise Report.
This provides the scope and estimated cost of a full re-clad of your home. The Concise Report is less detailed because a full re-clad replaces the entire building envelope. This Report cannot be used as evidence to support litigation.
The Concise Assessor’s Report is provided at no cost.
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Choosing an application form for a claim
If your property is on a freehold title (not on a cross-lease title, unit title or company-share licence) use the stand-alone house application form. If the property is not on a freehold title and there are common areas affected by leaking use the multi-unit complex application form. If there are no common areas affected by leaking and the claim is for a stand-alone house use the stand-alone complex application form. If you are unsure, or if your property does not fit any of these circumstances, call us on 0800 324 477 to discuss which form to use.
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The claimant’s role in the process
The claimant will make all decisions about which options to take during the process.
We can inform the claimant about their options and the process. However, they may wish to consider other people who can help them. This could be a family member, friend, building expert or a lawyer to support the claimant and help them understand their case.
The aim of the process is to get the house or complex repaired as soon as possible. It is not fair to the claimant or the other parties involved for the process to be unnecessarily drawn out.
The claim on council records
We are required under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act to notify the territorial authority when:
- a claim is brought
- the claim is decided to be eligible or ineligible
- the claim is resolved or closed.
The council is required to record this notification in its property file on the house or complex, which is publicly accessible.
Most claim information held by the Ministry is also subject to the Official Information Act 1982. If the Ministry receives a request for information, it is assessed according to that Act and we may have to release information about the claim.
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Length of time for process
Each claim is different, so it’s not possible to say exactly how long the process will take.
The main things that affect how long a claim may take are:
- the type of assessment report the claimant chooses
- the resolution process the claimant decides to follow
- how willing and/or how available other parties are to take part in negotiation, mediation or adjudication
- the law requires some steps in the process to take a set period of time, to make sure all parties are treated fairly.
Keep us informed
So we can provide claimants with the best assistance, it is important that they inform us of any relevant changes in their situation such as if they undertake repairs, pursue their claim through other resolution options or sell their house or unit. If the claimant sells their house we must close their claim.
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Claims closed when not enough effort made to resolve them
It is important that leaky homes are repaired as quickly as possible. For this reason, the Ministry may close a claim if we feel the claimant is not making enough effort to resolve the claim and there is no valid reason for this. Once the claim is closed, the claimant cannot bring a new claim for the same property. We understand that circumstances may mean that we are unable to contact the claimant, so claimants should let us know of any extended absences.
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Where to from here?