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Department of Justice

Maintenance of Essential Building Services

Who determines the maintenance requirements?

Requirements for the maintenance of new building work

The details of the relevant frequency of testing and inspection of each type of feature or measure will be specified in the Director of Building Control's Maintenance Determination which will be published early in 2017.

For new buildings or alteration and additions to existing buildings, the building surveyor who issues the Occupancy Permit for the building determines a Maintenance Schedule of prescribed essential services specific to the particular building.  They will issue that to the owner using the Approved Form No. 46 (Maintenance Schedule) (DOCX, 89.6 KB).

Requirements for maintenance of buildings built or altered BEFORE 1 July 2004

A requirement for all owners to maintain the essential building services first became law in July 2004.  For owners of all existing buildings that meant establishing what are appropriate measures for their building and then performing the required regular maintenance.  

Most owners of existing buildings have now complied with this legal requirement, however some have failed to do so and therefore they must seek advice on how to comply with the Building Act 2016, including the creation of a Maintenance Schedule for their premises.

For existing buildings it will be necessary for owners to engage a building surveyor to create a Maintenance Schedule and to determine the ongoing maintenance requirements. The Schedule will describe what are all the particular maintainable essential building services of each building and determine the performance level to which each is required to perform.  It will also reference the frequency of testing or inspection as specified by the Director of Building Control for each maintainable essential service.

There is no Approved Form for a Maintenance Schedule for an existing building, however the Approved Form for new building work may be adapted for this purpose.

Who can perform the required maintenance work?

The type of maintenance required of the essential services will depend on the results of inspections performed and the complexity of the feature or measure included in a building.

There is no direct licensing of persons who perform the regular inspection and maintenance work under either the Building Act 2016 or the Occupational Licensing Act 2005.  The level of skills of the persons performing checking of the essential building services will therefore depend on the complexity of each type of service or feature.

For some types of simple safety features an employee could undergo some basic training or induction to understand what they are checking and why this work is being performed. For example, that the latch on a fire exit door is working correctly and paths of travel to that door are not obstructed.

If however the testing and maintenance of a safety feature involves electrical, mechanical, fire protection or other technical skills then a contractor who possesses specialist skills must perform the maintenance.