Claim for a multi-unit complex
What is a multi-unit complex claim?
A multi-unit complex claim can be brought for:
- a group of units and common areas
- a group of units with no common areas
- common areas only if no units are affected
- a single unit only if no common areas or other units are affected.
If you claim for common areas only or for a single unit only and we become aware that other units or common areas are affected, your claim will be terminated as a claim for the whole complex would have to be brought.
There is a separate claim form that can be completed if you wish to bring a stand-alone complex claim. This type of claim is only for units or buildings in a multi-unit complex where no common areas are affected by leaking. It allows owners to group together by building rather than by complex. Each claim type has a separate statutory declaration that must be completed and attached to the claim form.
What constitutes a house or unit?
The application uses 'house' or 'unit' to mean 'dwellinghouse' as defined in the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act 2006 (the Act). Under the Act, a dwellinghouse:
(a) means a building, or an apartment, flat, or unit within a building, that is intended to have as its principal use occupation as a private residence; and
(b) in the case of a dwellinghouse that is a building, includes a gate, garage, shed, or other structure that is an integral part of the building; and
(c) in the case of a dwellinghouse that is an apartment, flat, or unit within a building,
includes a door, gate, garage, shed, or other structure that—
(i) is an integral part of the building; and
(ii) is intended for the exclusive use of the occupier of the dwellinghouse; but
(d) does not include a hospital, hostel, hotel, motel, rest home, or other institution.
What criteria must be met to bring a claim?
1. You must be appropriately authorised to bring the claim
For multi-unit complexes a representative must bring the claim on behalf of the owners. Authorisation of the representative is confirmed by a statutory declaration as required under the Act. A statutory declaration is a written statement signed in the presence of a lawyer, justice of the peace, notary public or other person authorised to take a statutory declaration. Statutory declaration forms are available on the Department's website www.dbh.govt.nz
2. The claim property must be used as private residences
A private residence includes a unit rented to another person as a private residence. A 'time-share' unit is not a private residence. A unit principally used for commercial purposes is not a private residence. A unit used for both residential and commercial purposes, but principally for residential purposes, will generally be considered a private residence. Common areas are considered residential if they are part of the building the residential units are in and are intended principally for the use of the owners or occupiers of the residential units.
3. The claim property must have been built or altered within the last 10 years
Building or alteration work giving rise to the claim must have been completed within the 10 years immediately preceding the date your application is received by the Department.
The date built or altered will generally be taken to mean the date the claim property was capable of meeting the consent requirements under the Building Code, or failing evidence of that, when the house was habitable or the alterations were fit to be used. The date a code compliance certificate was issued will not necessarily be accepted as the built date. You may be required to provide further proof of the date the property was habitable, for example, when the power was connected. Generally, alterations must have changed or modified the original design or construction of the building. Home maintenance and repairs are not necessarily considered as alterations.
4. The claim property must be or have been a leaky building
A leaky building in a multi-unit complex includes a unit and/or common areas into which water has penetrated as a result of any aspect of the:
- materials used
in its construction or alteration.
This may include property that was leaking but has now been repaired. The water must have come in from the outside, not from internal sources such as plumbing leaks.
5. The claim property must have been damaged by the leaking
Evidence of this damage includes peeling paint, wallpaper or lino, visible presence of water, high moisture readings, musty smells, rotting wood, or staining. Provide as much detail of the damage as possible on the claim form. If one or more individual units and common areas are affected, a claim must be brought for the whole complex with appropriate authorisations.
A claim can be made for an individual unit or common areas only when no other unit or common area is leaking or damaged.
Who can bring a claim for property in a multi-unit complex?
An authorised representative must bring the claim. For a claim that is for units and/or common areas:
- if the property is a unit title complex, the body corporate must be the representative that brings the claim
- if the property is a cross-lease complex, a nominated representative (eg, a lawyer, an owner, an expert) must bring the claim
- if the property is a company-share complex, the company must be the representative that brings the claim.
For a claim for a single unit only, the owner may bring the claim.
See Application to bring a claim under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act 2006 for more information.