How to deal with construction defects


Lerato Khumalo

If construction was sloppy, the consequences often only become apparent years later. If you take the right approach, you can still complain about defects later.

Basement poorly sealed, walls or tiles cracked? Builders generally have the opportunity to complain about defects up to five years after the building has been accepted. The Association of Private Builders (VPB) points this out.

If something has gone wrong, this must be reported to the company responsible in writing in the form of a so-called complaint. The building owner must also give the company a reasonable deadline to remedy the problem.

It is important to note that the deadline usually continues to run even after the damage has been reported. If the building contractor does not respond, the client should consider taking legal action to ensure that the deadline does not expire in the meantime. If the contractor does respond, this interrupts the limitation period.

To be on the safe side, the VPB advises building owners to commission an independent building expert to carry out a final inspection of the house at least six months before the end of the warranty period. This is because an expert can often identify defects long before they cause real damage.

Consumers can find further tips in the VPB’s guide “Expert helps with defects!”