What is a Building Warrant Of Fitness?

As per the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, a Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) is a written statement issued annually to the council - a copy is also publicly displayed in the building. The BWOF is a declaration by the building owner or the building owner’s agent, stating that all specified systems in the building have been inspected, maintained, and reported in accordance with the compliance schedule for a period of 12 months prior to the issue date.

How long does a BWOF last?

A Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) lasts for one year from the anniversary date of the compliance schedule.

What is a compliance schedule?

As per the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, a compliance schedule
is a document issued by a council for buildings containing specified systems. The compliance schedule states that the specified systems and their performance standards (which includes the inspection, maintenance, and reporting procedures), need to be kept in good working order.

Why is it taking so long to get my updated BWOF?

The issuing of your updated Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) is dependent on the existence of any outstanding issues which your local territorial authority (TA) has identified but has not been fixed. In some cases, it is possible that your BWOF renewal has not been processed as your TA might have a backlog, or it might be that the BWOF renewal submission was not received. It is highly recommended to check with your local TA on the status of your BWOF when you have not received any confirmation that your BWOF renewal has been accepted.

Where is an acceptable location to display the BWOF?

A Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) should be displayed in a place where it is easily visible to the public (i.e. front entrance of the building).

My building is under consent – do I still need to issue a BWOF?

The issuing of a Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) is dependent on the type of building work that is currently under way at the site. As a rule of thumb, a BWOF is required if the specified systems are still required to function even when the building work is taking place (e.g. partial refurbishment of one floor of a 19-floor building). A proper explanation, along with an action plan to rectify the issue, is required for any specified systems that were not properly maintained. It is also advisable to provide the local territorial authority with the building consent number for reference purposes.

Should a BWOF be issued if the building is vacant?

The Building Act does not provide any exemptions for vacant buildings. Therefore, as per the Building Act Section 108(3), vacant buildings are still required to have a Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) issued.

My BWOF expired and I have extensive repairs to be done on lifts, what now?

You are required to write a Specified System Status Report (SSSR) clearly indicating why extensive repairs to your lifts were not carried out over the previous 12-month period and the steps that were made to rectify this issue to ensure that the lifts are now in working order. Alternatively, you may appoint an agent to assist you with this matter on your behalf. We at Ruption Consulting are able to help with that.

What happens if my building burns down and my BWOF expires?

If your building burns down and your Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) is expired, you might not be entitled to insurance cover as it is a sign of negligence in ensuring that the safety systems are functioning at your premises.

How much time does the building owner have to rectify an expired BWOF?

In this case, a notice to fix (NTF) should have already been issued to the building with an expired Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF). Therefore, the owner should rectify the expired BWOF within the stipulated time on the NTF. If an NTF has not been issued for the site with an expired BWOF, the owner is advised to rectify the expired BWOF to avoid receiving an NTF, which comes with a fine.

What can I do as an owner if my records are not complete?

If your records are not complete, you are required to write a Building Systems Status Report (BSSR), clearly indicating why your records are incomplete and the steps that you’ve made to rectify the incomplete records. Alternatively, you may appoint an agent to assist you with this matter on your behalf. We at Ruption are able to help with that.

My building never had a BWOF – do I need one?

As per the guidance document issued by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, if you own a building that contains specified systems, the Building Act requires you to have a compliance schedule and you must ensure the effective operation of all the specified systems for the life of the building. This requirement does not apply to single household units (residential homes) unless they have a cable car. If the building has an SS and a CS or a cable car, then yes it needs one.

What makes Ruption different from other BWOF agents?

The Ruption team, who are subject matter experts in the building compliance industry with years of experience, are able to provide a robust process and plan to make the Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) as painless as possible.

What is covered by your site-scoping?

Our site-scoping covers a survey of the site, followed up by a summary report of the amount of work we will be doing for that particular site. The summary will be attached along with the initial building report for the owner. This could result in a variation of order as additional service items could be identified during the site scoping process.

How often do you provide the owner with updates?

We schedule quarterly meetings with the owner where we provide a detailed update on the site. Additionally, we send the owner alerts on any issues that crop up as soon as we hear about it from any service provider.

What should a BWOF agent expect from the owner?

The owner is ultimately responsible for the safety of the occupants of the building. Therefore, it is vital that the owner communicates with and notifies the agent of any changes or alterations made to the building so that we, as agents, are able to carry out the Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) process on time and maintain the CS relevant and updated.

Who deals with quotes and payment for the IQP in regard to repairs for specified systems?

The terms and conditions in our SLA allow us to schedule and carry out minor repairs up to the limit of $500. In such instances, we bill the owner without consultation and fix the minor defect once funds are received. For major repairs over that threshold, we contact the owner or their authorised representative for consultation on how to rectify the defects.

What are the legal obligations of the BWOF agent?

Legal obligations are for the Building Warrant Of Fitness (BWOF) agent to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Building Act and operate in an ethical manner

Do all BWOF agents need to obtain ISO accreditation to be in business?

While ISO 9001 is not mandatory, it shows that an organization employs a systematic approach to its operations. As well as this, companies with ISO certification provide a sense of security to owners. Ruption is certified in ISO 9001, which is the international standard for a quality management system (QMS). This standard is used by organizations to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements and to demonstrate continuous improvement.

What does your online platform cover?

Our online platform contains all information relevant to the building and its SS, IMR, and the schedule with dates and times of when inspections will be carried out. It also includes the CS, BWOF Cert, and other related documents for two years as required by the TA.

Is the online platform user friendly? I am not comfortable with technology.

Our online platform (Formitize) is easy to learn and manage, and our team will get you comfortable with it during the onboarding process. Additionally, we will provide ongoing support for the online platform if you have any problems using it.

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