Wellington Scoop

Wellington builders sign up to leaky homes warranty

Press Release – Builtin New Zealand
In only its second month since launch the WaterTight Warranty, which covers the repairs made to leaky homes, has already signed up builders covering the Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Wellington regions.

The warranty, launched in November, protects homeowners in the event of a secondary failure of their leaky home repairs. It also provides confidence to potential purchasers of a home, reassuring them that if anything were to go wrong in the future they will have the support of a guarantor to resolve any problems.

Various estimates put the number of leaky buildings in New Zealand between 42,000 and 110,000, with a potential cost of up to $23 billion.

Owners of leaky homes are often unable to sell because of the risk associated with them, or are forced to sell at substantially reduced prices.

Real estate agents and sellers are finding that even homes assessed as not being leaky are struggling to attract buyers, if they are of a style associated with leaky buildings. This typically includes those with monolithic, plaster-based cladding. Other design features associated with leaky buildings include Mediterranean styling, parapet or flat roofs and closed balustrades.

“We know from experience overseas that homes with a robust, independently insured warranty in place sell faster and for substantially more than they would without one”, says Jim Rickard, Managing Director of Builtin New Zealand, the company that administers the warranty. “Since the launch last month we’ve had daily enquiries from both builders and leaky home owners interested in how the warranty works. We expect to extend coverage of the warranty to other regions, in particular the Waikato, Queenstown and Canterbury, in the coming months.”

Platinum Pacific Reclad Limited, a specialist in weathertight remediation work across Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, was one of the first builders to be granted approval to offer the warranty. The company’s owner, Martin Bamford, believes an independent, insurance backed warranty has been a long time coming. “It offers another level of protection to the homeowner, by bringing a third party to the table. There are plenty of cowboys out there claiming they can do this work, so for us, being a WaterTight Approved Builder is a mark of quality in the work we do.”

Homeowners can find a WaterTight Approved Builder in their area by visiting www.watertightwarranty.co.nz.

Builtin’s Jim Rickard states “it’s unfortunate, but with the amount of homes out there that will require repair work, there are going to be companies and individuals offering to do this work who aren’t qualified and who won’t be around in two or three years when their works fails. That’s why having an independent warranty from an investment grade rated insurer should be an essential part of every homeowner’s repair plan.”

The key features of the warranty include:
• Structural defects – guaranteed for ten years
• Weathertightness of the building envelope – guaranteed for five years
• Non-structural defects – guaranteed for two years
• WaterTight repairs guaranteed up to $500,000
• Loss of deposit and non-completion of the repairs
• The warranty is transferrable to another buyer, helping owners sell their houses faster and for more
• Only builders with the right experience, qualifications and skills can display the WaterTight Seal of Approval and offer the WaterTight Warranty. This means homeowners can trust a WaterTight Approved Builder to do the job right.
• Independently insured by CBL Insurance Limited, a Standard and Poor’s rated company with nearly 40 years experience underwriting builders warranties. CBL have more than a million homes under warranty worldwide, including almost 10,000 in New Zealand under their Homefirst brand.
The website for the WaterTight Warranty is www.watertightwarranty.co.nz.

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