Compliance Schedule and Building Warrant of Fitness
Property owners are responsible for the safety and sanitation of their buildings. Certain systems and features such as fire alarms, lifts and air-conditioning require on-going monitoring and maintenance.
Where a compliance schedule has been issued for a building, owners must provide a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) annually to verify systems are in working order. This is a statutory declaration made by the building owner that requirements of the Compliance Schedule have been met for the preceding year.
The Building Act 2004 was amended on 13 March 2012 and included a number of changes to the compliance schedule and Building Warrant of Fitness process.
Please read this document supplied by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Information for Building Owners and their agents (eg IQPs).
A Compliance Schedule is an inventory of a building’s specified systems. The schedule specifies:
- inspection, testing and maintenance procedures
- the frequency of required work and who should perform it.
When you apply for a building consent, you will be asked to supply details of these systems and features on the application form. You will be required to supply specific details of equipment location and details of proposed testing and maintenance procedures.
Once the systems have been confirmed, your Compliance Schedule will be issued with the Code Compliance Certificate.
If this is a new, not amended, Compliance Schedule, the Council will also issue you a Compliance Schedule Statement which provides details about the:
- use of the building
- building systems covered by the Compliance Schedule.
A building warrant of fitness is a building owner’s signed statement that the requirements of the compliance schedule have been fully met. It certifies that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures in the schedule have been fully complied with during the previous 12 months.
For the first year, you must display the Compliance Schedule Statement in a public place in the building.
Every year after that you must:
- Issue a BWOF – To do this you must first ensure that all requirements of the Compliance Schedule have been satisfied. This will include inspections by an independently qualified person (IQP) for each of the system’s features.
- Display a copy of the BWOF – This must be displayed in a public place in the building.
- Send BWOF and IQP certificates to the Council – The original BWOF must be accompanied by all IQP certificates required by the Compliance Schedule, and the fee.
In addition to inspections by independently qualified persons, the owner is often required to perform inspections at regular intervals.
Records of the following must be kept together for two years and produced when requested for audit purposes:
- inspections by independently qualified persons
- inspections by the owner
- the Compliance Schedule.
To check if you IQP is registered with the South Waikato District Council please check the following site, we use the Hamilton City Council Register.
A building that contains certain safety features and essential systems, such as fire alarms and lifts, requires a compliance schedule. The owner must make sure that these features and systems operate effectively, and must sign an annual building warrant of fitness.
Under the Building Act 2004, a building (except a single residential dwelling) requires a compliance schedule and annual building warrant of fitness if it contains any of the following:
- Automatic systems for fire suppression (for example, sprinkler systems).
- Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers (other than a warning system for fire that is entirely within a household unit and serves only that unit).
- Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows (for example, ones that close on fire alarm activation).
- Emergency lighting systems.
- Escape route pressurisation systems.
- Riser mains for use by fire services.
- Automatic back-flow preventers connected to a potable water supply.
- Lifts, escalators, travelators, or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings.
- Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems.
- Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings.
- Laboratory fume cupboards.
- Audio loops or other assistive listening systems.
- Smoke control systems.
- Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified in any of points 1 to 13.
- Systems for communicating spoken information intended to facilitate evacuation.
- Cable cars
The Building Act 2004 has shifted the responsibility for obtaining a building consent from equal sharing between the owner and his builder/contractor/subcontractor, etc, to total responsibility of the owner.
Not only is the owner now deemed liable for applying for a building consent, but he/she is also deemed to be totally responsible to ensure that work complies with the relevant Approved Documents in the Building Code. Council will advise the owner of any breaches and it is the owner’s duty to ensure that these breaches are rectified.
Any person who does, or allows any person to do, building work contrary to the Act could be liable to a fine of up to $200,000.
It is the Owner’s Responsibility to:
- Notify the Council of any proposed building or alteration work.
- Notify the Council of a change of use.
- Apply for a Building Consent and provide the necessary information to confirm compliance with the New Zealand Building Code.
- Ensure that inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures are carried out where required.
- Notify the Council on completion of building work.
Owners will often engage specialists for all or part of the proposed work.
These specialists include such people as architects, engineers, builders, plumbers, electricians, etc. The owner can nominate any of those specialists as his Agent. Council then deals with that person in the event of any queries or problems.
In the event of a breach of the Act the owner is still likely to bear the full liability for those breaches. However, this does not absolve the nominated agent of the owner from any liability should that person breach the Act.
The building owner is responsible for ensuring that safe and sanitary conditions are maintained, whether or not the building is tenanted by others.