What is a notice to fix?
A notice to fix (NTF) is a statutory notice requiring a person to remedy a breach of the Building Act 2004 or regulations under that Act. One can be issued for any breach of the Act, not just for building work.
Issuing of a notice to fix
A notice to fix must be issued by a responsible authority; this includes a building consent authority or a territorial authority.
They are issued to a specified person, which is the building owner and, where applicable:
- the person carrying out building work
- any other person supervising that building work.
The responsible authority must issue a notice to fix if it considers on reasonable grounds that:
- a specified person is contravening the Building Act 2004 (for example, doing building work without a building consent, or doing work not in accordance with a building consent)
- a specified person is contravening any of the Building Regulations under the 2004 Act (including the Building Regulations 1992, containing the Building Code)
- 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, complied with.
Responsible authorities have some discretion in what they choose to include in notices to fix. They use this discretion to ensure a notice to fix is appropriate to the circumstances of a particular situation.
What to do if you receive a notice to fix
If you receive a notice to fix, read the details of the notice and ensure you understand your options to achieve compliance. If in doubt on any of the details contact council to discuss further.
Keep council informed of how you will comply and when any remedial works will be carried out. Refer to your notice to fix or cover letter as you may require a building consent to complete remedial work. Don’t do any other work until you have resolved the non-compliances and the council has lifted the notice.
Once you have complied with a notice to fix council must provide written confirmation advice to the building owner that the notice to fix has been complied with and lifted.
If you don’t comply with the notice to fix within the specified timeframe this can result in further notices to fix being issued, or the possibility of an infringement notice, and ultimately can lead to prosecution under the Building Act 2004. Fines on conviction can be up to $20,000, and where it is a continuing offence, further fines of up to $20,000 for every day or part of a day during which the office has continued.