What is a building warrant of fitness?
A building warrant of fitness is a statement signed by the building owner (or owner’s agent), stating the requirements of the building’s compliance schedule have been fully complied with in the previous 12 months.
Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment: Building warrants of fitness
Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment: Managing your BWoF (for building with specified systems)
What is a compliance schedule?
A compliance schedule lists the specified systems within a building and the procedures required to keep them in good working order, helping to ensure the building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or work in.
Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment: Compliance schedules
Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment: Compliance schedule handbook
Compliance schedule statements
A compliance schedule statement is issued by us as temporary public notification of the specified systems covered by the compliance schedule. This statement must be displayed in a public part of the building for the first 12 months of a building’s life.
When is a building warrant of fitness required?
After 12 months your compliance schedule statement issued with your code compliance certificate will expire. You are then required to provide a building warrant of fitness (form 12) and the relevant certificates of compliance (form 12A) on each anniversary of the issuing of your compliance schedule.
Specified systems are systems or features installed in a building that are crucial to the safety and health of the building and those who use it, or systems which, if they are not maintained, could cause injury or harm. When you apply for a building consent, you must include a list of all specified systems in the building project.
If your building contains any of the following specified systems, you must have a building warrant of fitness:
- automatic systems for fire suppression (for example sprinkler system)
- 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 routes pressurisation systems
- riser mains for fire service use
- any automatic backflow preventers connected to a potable water supply
- lifts, escalators, travelators or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings. Note: this includes cable cars attached to a private dwelling
- 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 clauses 1-13.
- any or all of the following systems or features, so long as they form part of a building's means of escape from fire, and so long as those means also contain any or all of the systems or features specified in clauses 1 to 6, 9 and 13:
(a) systems for communicating spoken information intended to facilitate evacuation; and
(b) final exits (as defined by clause A2 of the building code); and
(c) fire separations (as so defined); and
(d) signs for communicating information intended to facilitate evacuation; and
(e) smoke separations (as so defined).
- cable car
Independent qualified persons (IQPs)
An IQP is a person approved by a territorial authority as qualified to inspect, maintain and report on certain specified systems. ‘Independent’ means that the person has no financial interest in the building.
The role of an IQP is to inspect, report on, and maintain the specified systems as detailed on the compliance schedule.
You are required by law to have annual written reports relating to the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures of the compliance schedule signed by each person who has carried out those procedures. Keep the reports with the compliance schedule for two years and make sure they are accessible when inspections are carried out.
Renewing a building warrant of fitness
A month before a building warrant of fitness is due to expire, we will send you (as building owner) a reminder letter. The reminder letter includes information on completing the building warrant of fitness form (Form 12).
Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment: Form 12 Building warrant of fitness & Form 12A Certificate of compliance with inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures
You (as the building owner) must sign two copies of the building warrant of fitness form. One copy must be displayed in the building, and the other must be sent to us, with all the required certificates of compliance (Form 12As).
Submit a building warrant of fitness form
The Building Act 2004 requires us to administer and enforce the building warrant of fitness system. We will complete an audit of the specified systems in your building and the records kept by your IQP every one to four years, depending on the type of building.
If the audit fails, a follow up will be completed.
A fee at the current rate may be applicable for the initial audit and any follow up audit as required.Fees and charges
Applying for or amending a compliance schedule
For new buildings, a compliance schedule is issued with a code of compliance certificate.
Where a compliance schedule has been issued for the first time, we issue a compliance schedule statement. This is a temporary public notification of compliance with the schedule requirements. It is replaced after 12 months, and every 12 months after that, by the building warrant of fitness.
You (as the building owner) must display this document in a public area within the building.
After receiving a compliance schedule statement, an IQP must be engaged as soon as possible (typically within one month) to ensure that all inspection, maintenance and reporting is completed for the next 12 months.
You will need to apply for an amendment to the existing compliance schedule if you want to:
Compliance schedule application (new or amendment)
- update owner details
- amend the inspection, maintenance or reporting procedures
- advise of any specified system not included on the compliance schedule for the building.
Fines and penalties
The Building Act 2004 contains a number of provisions to protect public health and safety that are important for building owners and managers. There is a range of penalties for failing to comply with these provisions:
- failure to obtain a compliance schedule
- failure to supply the council with a building warrant of fitness
- failure to display a building warrant of fitness required to be displayed
- displaying a false or misleading building warrant of fitness
- displaying a building warrant of fitness other than in accordance with section 108 of the Building Act.
These offences carry a maximum fine of $20,000.
We can also issue you instant fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 for any of the compliance schedule and building warrant of fitness breaches listed above.
A notice to fix can be issued where:
- a building warrant of fitness is not correct
- the inspection, maintenance or reporting procedures stated in the compliance schedule are not being, or have not been, properly complied with
- any other breach of the Building Act or Regulations.
A notice to fix is a warning to correct an instance of non-compliance with the building code and/or building act. If you fail to correct the non-compliance, you are liable of a maximum fine of $200,000 and a further $20,000 for each day the offence is continued.
An instant fine of $1,000 can also be issued if a notice to fix is not complied with.
Request a copy of a compliance schedule
If you would like to request a copy of a compliance schedule for a specific address, please email email@example.com