Building or purchasing a newly constructed house is an exciting endeavour. However, it is essential to understand your rights as a property owner to ensure that the construction work meets the required standards. In South Africa, several building regulations and laws are in place to protect consumers against poor workmanship and construction defects. 

Summary of some applicable regulation

The National Building Regulations (“NBR”) under the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977 serve as a cornerstone for construction standards in South Africa. The regulations, specifically SANS 10400, cover various aspects, including structural integrity, fire safety, plumbing, electrical installations, and energy efficiency. 

Moreover, local municipalities or building control authorities enforce the NBR. They review building plans, issue permits, and conduct inspections during construction to ensure compliance with the standards. They are also useful resources in the case of non-compliance. 

Furthermore, upon completion of construction, property owners are entitled to receive compliance certificates from qualified professionals, such as registered structural engineers, electricians, and plumbers. These certificates verify that the construction work meets the required standards. 

Finally, the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 95 of 1998 established the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). The NHBRC regulates the home building industry and ensures that builders and developers adhere to prescribed technical and quality standards. The NHBRC provides warranties and guarantees to housing consumers and handles disputes related to defective building work. 

If your newly built house exhibits construction defects affecting structural integrity or posing safety hazards, you have the right to recourse and to initiate communication with the builder or contractor responsible for the construction and demand rectification of the defects. 

This is of course in addition to the fact that a duly registered contractor or holder usually provide warranties or guarantees for their work. These warranties cover defects and workmanship issues within a specified period after construction. 


Owning a newly built house in South Africa comes with rights and protections to ensure the quality of construction. It is important to ensure that the contracted builder is duly registered. In addition, to obtain necessary compliance certificates and register your home with the NHBRC for added protection (in the case of new build). In case of defective construction, seek resolution with the builder or contractor, and be aware of any warranties or guarantees provided. Contact an Attorney at SchoemanLaw for advice or assistance if you are experiencing challenges in your construction project.