Compliance Schedules

Sections 7, 100-107 Building Act 2004, Schedule 1 Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005

Overview of Requirements

The Building Act requires some compulsory maintenance checks which a commercial building owner is responsible for by law.

These checks are spelled out in a document called a Compliance Schedule, which is issued by the Building Consent Authority, often along with the Code Compliance Certificate, and must be kept where instructed to do so (generally, this will be on the premises, but not necessarily).

Most commercial buildings will have a Compliance Schedule because they have one or more systems that need this form of checking (eg. fire alarm, lift, sprinklers etc).
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A stand alone house will not unless it has a cable car.

A Compliance Schedule must list the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for Specified Systems and features in a building (such as lifts, automatic fire sprinklers, fire alarms, air conditioning) to ensure their continued safety of operation.

Schedule 1 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005 outlines a 15-item list of what is a Specified System.  Cable cars were added in 2012, now under sections 7 and 100 of the Building Act 2004.

Specified Systems must be regularly tested and maintained as per the Compliance Schedule. This includes a mix of  inspections made by an Independent Qualified Person (IQP), the owner/tenant, or other testing staff under the supervision of the IQP.

The issuing of a Compliance Schedule kicks off the Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) process.

For the first 12 months of a building’s life, a Compliance Schedule Statement must be displayed in a public part of the building (eg. in a reception or foyer). After this time, it will be replaced by the first BWOF.

Compliance Schedules have been largely legally required since 1 July 1992; they became mandatory from 1 July 1993, under the Building Act 1991.

Note that it is an offence under the Act for the owner of a building to not have a Compliance Schedule for that building.

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Case Law

These are some of the leading cases in this sphere:

Ford v Auckland Council [2020] NZDC 22162
  • This case was an appeal from a Determination.
  • It concerned an argument that a single household unit with a cable car to have a compliance schedule did not apply to a cable car constructed before the provisions came into force on 31 March 2008.

Property Ventures Investments Ltd v LSW Ltd (2007) 8 NZCPR 696(HC)
  • This case turned on whether a vacant building awaiting demolition required a Compliance Schedule and Building Warrant of Fitness.

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Most Recent Determinations

2019/069: Regarding the need for a compliance schedule for a cable car servicing a residential dwelling
  • Note: The decision in this determination was confirmed on appeal to the District Court. See Ford v Auckland Council [2020] NZDC 22162.
  • Whether the owner of a cable car built in 2000 (servicing the owner’s house) was required to obtain a compliance schedule for the cable car, given there was no such requirement when the cable car was built.

2019/040: Regarding the authority's refusal to amend a compliance schedule to remove a mezzanine floor from the schedule for an early childhood centre
  • Refusal to amend a compliance schedule to remove the fire-rated mezzanine floor from the schedule for an early childhood centre, whether the fire-rated floor is a “fire separation” as that term is used in relation to specified systems.

2018/059: Issue of a notice to fix in respect of the compliance schedule and building warrant of fitness for a building
  • Note: This determination is subject to clarification
  • Concerning a notice to fix issued by an authority in respect of the specified systems in a building, the compliance schedule, and the building warrant of fitness, whether the notice to fix was correctly issued, the information to be provided in a compliance schedule, and the issue of the building warrant of fitness.

2017/073: Compliance schedule requirements and the classified use of three proposed commercial poultry sheds
  • Whether the correct classified use for the proposed poultry sheds is "industrial" or "outbuilding", and whether the operational systems are specified systems and whether a compliance schedule is required.

2015/074: Regarding the installation of a lift without building consent, and a request to remove the compliance schedule
  • Installation of a lift without building consent, and request to remove the compliance schedule, for a multi-unit residential building.