National Home Builders Registration Council

What is NHBRC? (National Home Builders Registration Council)

The NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) is a regulatory body of the home building industry. The Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 95 of 1998 was introduced into South African Law to protect housing consumers and establish the NHBRC (National Homebuilders Registration Council)

The Act states that the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council’s) role is to represent the interest of housing consumers by providing warranty protection against defects in new homes. To regulate the home building industry, provide protection to housing consumers in respect of the failure of home builders to comply with their obligations in terms of this Act.

They must also establish and promote ethical and technical standards in the home building industry, improve structural quality in the interests of housing consumers and the home building industry.

They must promote housing consumer rights and provide housing consumer information, communicate with and assist home builders to register in terms of the Act. Also provide assistance to home builders through training and inspection and to achieve and maintain satisfactory technical standards of home building.

Is National Home Builders Registration Compulsory?

The NHBRC( National Home Builders Registration) is compulsory in terms of the Act, any person in the business of home building must be registered with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) If anyone contravenes this, they will be guilty of an Offence and liable of conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding a year. A builder needs to be registered if a builder wants to build homes for a client that needs Bank Assisted Finance. If the Builder’s client does not require Bank finance and the builder is a reputable professional and well-established builder, he need not be registered with the NHBRC(National Home Builders Registration Council) but this is not recommend as they contravene the Act.

Why must builders register with the NHBRC ?

Any builder in the business of building homes is required by law to be registered with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council)

The benefits of registering with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) is that they are Compliant with the Act, Recognised by Financial Institutions as an Accredited Home Builder. They have access to NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) mediation services and have access to NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) training programmes and other building resources.

How do I register for the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council)?

Firstly, you would need to obtain the form by downloading it or collecting it at the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registrations Council) office, complete it and return to the Nearest NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration) Office. Make the prescribed payment and attached the required forms.

Forms required are the signed application form, the Company’s Registration documents, Certified ID/Passport copies of all Directors/Members/Trustees/Partners/Sole Proprietors of the Company including work permit for foreigners. A stamped letter from the Bank confirming the applicant’s Banking details or a copy of a cancelled blank cheque. All these must not be older than three months and emailed print-outs are also not accepted. Proof of residence, not older than three months. An appointment letter of the Technical Manager including confirmation of their technical ability and a written acceptance of their appointment. These are only required should the Technical Manager not be part of the Managing members of the company or Sole Trader.) A copy of a valid Tax Clearance from SARS (South African Receiver of Revenue) a signed consent letter for credit checks. The COR14.1 and COR14.3 (New Pty’s only) and CM29 (Old Pty’s only) certified copy of Share certificates, Trust resolution (Trusts only) Partnership agreement(Partnership only) letter or a Constitution of Co-Operative limited (Co-Operatives only)

How much is it to register for the NHBRC?

The initial application fee is R745.61 (once off) which is not refundable must be paid into the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) Bank account before attending the Builder’s Induction workshop which is compulsory in order to be registered. An Annual membership fee of R526.32 is also due every year.

How long does it take to register for the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council)?

After submission of all documents and payment, the builders will be issued with the Home Builders Manual which consists of three parts. These manuals must be studied in preparation for the Technical examination or Assessments.

How do I get my NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) Certificate?

Assessments are done from Monday to Friday at your nearest NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) customer care office. Builders are only allowed two attempts in order to pass the technical test within 30 days of paying the application fee. Applicants must attend a Builder’s Induction workshop to confirm application and to receive their registration certificate. These workshops are also held at the nearest NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) offices from Monday to Friday.

What is the purpose of the NHBRC?

The NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) is governed by the Housing Consumer Protection Measures Act of 1998. The Act states that the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) role is to represent the interest of the housing consumers by providing warranty protection against defects in new homes, regulate the home building industry, provide protection to housing consumers in respect of the failure of home builders to comply with their obligations in terms of this Act. Establish and to promote ethical and technical standards in the home building industry and improve structural quality in the interests of housing consumers and the home building industry. Promote housing consumer rights and to provide housing consumer information, communicate with and to assist home builders to register in terms of the Act through training and inspection to achieve and to maintain satisfactory technical standards of home building.

What is the difference between NHBRC and CIDB (The Construction Industry Development Board?)

Construction companies that build or deal with Residential areas has to be registered under the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council)

CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) is only for Construction companies that do Construction work for Non-Residential areas, being Office Buildings, General Building and Maintenance of government property (Hospitals, Fire Stations, Municipal Buildings, etc.

The NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) is very different from the CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) in the sense that the Construction company has to prove to the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) the number of houses they have built to date. To register on CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) is easy, all you need to do is submit an application and select the applicable grade. The construction company also need to indicate the maximum value of work permissible in their registered grading level. There are different requirements depending on the grades and classes and takes approximately 21 working days to be registered and it needs to comply with the requirements of the grade the contractor is applying for.

What forms do I need to have to register for NHBRC?

The completed application form, valid Company Registration documents (COR14.1, COR14.1A, COR14.3, CM29, CK1, CK2), Certified ID or Passport copies, Passport holders work permit, proof of residence, Bank Letter, Appointment letter of the Technical Manager confirming technical abilities, Tax Clearance Certificate, Share Certificate, Trust Resolution or Deed, Partnership Agreement or Constitution of Co-Operative Limited must be supplied.

What is the process after submitting the application and making payment for the NHBRC ?

After completing and submitting all required documents you will receive a Home Builders Manual which consists of 3 parts. You would need to learn all three manuals in preparation for the Technical exam. The exams are done from Monday to Friday at your nearest NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) offices. You are only allowed two attempts in which you must pass the technical test within 30 days of paying the application fee.

When do I get the NHBRC  Certificate?

Once the technical exam is completed and passed, the applicants must attend a Builder’s Induction workshop for confirmation of application and to receive their registration certificate. Workshops and exams are held Monday to Friday at your nearest NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) Offices.

Must I register Annually for NHBRC?

The Renewal process is the membership renewal of the Homebuilder who is able to meet the obligations in terms of the requirements of the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) The Renewal fee is R526.32 which must be paid annually. No cash is accepted at the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) Offices. You can pay via EFT or In-house card machine.

What is a NHBRC Certificate?

The Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 95 of 1998 was introduced into South African law to protect housing consumers and establish the HNBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) as the regulatory body of the home building industry. They also set out to promote ethical and technical standards, holds home builders accountable for the homes they build and provides sanctions for non- compliance. In terms of section 10( 1) of the Act, no person can carry on business as a home builder or receive payment in terms of an agreement for the sale or construction of a home unless he is a registered home builder. The NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) will issue him with a NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) Registration Certificate if he is registered. No person may build a home unless he is registered with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) The Home Builder is required to enroll every home he intends to build before construction starts and an enrolment certificate is issued to him by the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council)

The Business of a home builder means to construct or undertake to construct a home, or cause it to be constructed or to construct a home to be sold, or dispose of or sell.

Houses built by registered home builders and enrolled with the council are entitled to the remedies under the Act. An NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) certificate is important as the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) will pay out to a housing consumer where there is a major structural defect as a result of the home builder not complying with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) technical requirements within 5 years of the date of occupation and the builder has notified the home builder of the defects within those 5 years. The home builder is in breach if he has failed to rectify the defect. The home was constructed by a registered home builder the house was enrolled with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) and was still enrolled at the date of occupation. When a home builder is registered with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) and the home is enrolled, the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) will inspect the home and ensure it meets with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) technical requirements, which in turn ensures homes that are built of a high standard and good quality. If the council is of the opinion that the home builder is not complying with the Act, they can impose a penalty and may apply to court to direct the home builder to comply, stop construction or grant assistance appropriate to the circumstances.

Section 18 (1) of the Act states that a Financial Institution cannot lend money to a person to purchase a new home from a builder if the home builder is not registered with the council, the home has not been enrolled with the council and the relevant fees have not been paid to the council. Banks will often instruct conveyancers to obtain the necessary NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) certificates before registering the bond where the building on the property is less that 5 years old. NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) Certificates are valid for 5 years from the date of occupation. The date of occupation is the date on which the housing consumer first acquiring the home accepts the home as reflected in a document confirming such acceptance.

It is the housing consumer’s right and responsibility to ensure that the home builder is registered with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) This can be verified on their website or by calling their toll-free number. Your home builder is a reputable builder with experience and a good profile by checking the number of houses enrolled, number of complaints lodged against the builder and references.

After obtaining your approved building plans from your local municipality, your home builder must enrol your home with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) 15 days before starting with the construction. You need to verify with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) that the house is enrolled prior to construction. Your home builder must provide you with guidelines of the structure before he starts construction. You need to also to confirm that the home will be built in accordance with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) Home Builders manual or the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) agreement of South Africa’s technical requirements.

The NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) 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 from date of occupation. The Builder must rectify any defects.

Must I register with the CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) if I am registered with the NHBRC

Yes, the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) regulates construction in the housing market. The CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) regulates all other construction outside of housing. These two registrations are different and serve different purposes.