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Code Compliance Certificate, Dispute Resolution, Professional Consultancy

Project:
Resolving a dispute and securing Code Compliance Certificate Domestic Residential
Location: Waiheke Island, Auckland
Client: Mr & Mrs Spedding

GWE Property was engaged by this private property owner who, right at the end of the development, ended up in dispute with their contractor.

 The relationship had been both cordial and productive until that point, but a disagreement soon took the final stages of work in a potentially stressful, expensive and protracted direction. The main issue was the contractor was refusing to provide records of building work, producer statements and other information required to achieve code compliance. As this would potentially render the work on site as ‘incomplete’, any future plans to sell the property would be hampered by this outstanding – and key – part of the build. Worse still, things had broken down to such a degree that the early stages of legal positioning had begun, and legal costs were starting to ramp up.
 

Our sister company, GWE Consulting, had advised on geotechnical, storm and wastewater solutions (the site is complicated somewhat by requiring a new treatment plan as there is no mains drainage serving the site). Therefore we were aware that there was some strain in the relationship between both the client and the contractor.
 

A simple internal referral to our team helped cool things down as we took an impartial and pragmatic approach to find a solution for both parties. GWE Property & Building Advice focused on the outcome, which was to obtain all of the critical documents to secure code compliance. We found that, by remaining impartial, we reviewed the building project and identified what documents were required to achieve code compliance. Thankfully, because the client had kept impeccable records, we approached the various suppliers and subcontractors to obtain the multiple records and producer statements. Finally, we found a way to work with the principal contractor to obtain their Record of Building Work and documentation, something they had not been willing to part with in the past.

 
We took the stress and pain out of achieving code compliance for our client whilst providing a far more cost-effective, outcome faced solution. We are absolutely convinced taking the legal route would have been more stressful, expensive and protracted. Even if the client had been successful in their action, at some point, they would have found themselves having to chase the various subcontractors and suppliers for their paperwork to apply for their Code Compliance Certificate.

Don’t take our word for it. The client has kindly provided a testimonial of their experience

We engaged Ben Whitehouse of GWE Property and Building Advice to gather and assemble all the documents required, and then apply for
the Code of Compliance, and deal with any issues or addition information that the Auckland City Council may request to fulfill their requirements
to successfully gain the Code of Compliance.[ CCC ]
This was a substantial building project on Waiheke Island and a challenging assignment as the builder had not fully completed the contract and was not forthcoming with the building documentation and also this applied to many of the sub contractors that he had used. So this involved a lot of leg work and also required a sound knowledge of the building process and the council requirements.
We found Ben very tenacious which was an essential attribute to piece together all the documents to successfully gain our CCC.
Ben has a friendly disposition and was a great communicator, and I would have no hesitation in recommending him and GWE Property and Building Advice.
– Warwick Spedding

How could we have helped to prevent this?

At the outset, domestic clients are very quick to approach a builder, or sometimes a designer, to discuss their project, at which point it begins to take on its own momentum very quickly.

Whilst this will elicit all manner of juicy ideas and concepts along with a degree of sucking air in through teeth, it will be focused on the ‘obvious’ elements but not on the key things;

What is and what isn’t included in your architect or designer’s fee proposal? Design, obviously, but does it include site visits, technical assurance, redesign work, preparation of documents for submission for Code Compliance?

Whilst the builder will provide a cost for the work, who will provide the paperwork for all the specialist suppliers and sub-contractors – most builders we know like building, not paperwork! What happens if it all goes wrong – make sure the in’s and out’s of who has responsibility for what, is clearly documented. It is always worth agreeing on a solution for resolving any disputes whilst everyone is enjoying a cordial and collaborative relationship, not when you are on the cusp of a dispute!

GWE Property & Building Advice can assist you in all aspects of design coordination, contractor procurement, technical assurance, and resolving disputes.

Why not take advantage of a FREE 30 minute consultation?*

to see what, if anything, we can do to help find a sensible resolution to your concerns? (terms and conditions apply)