Making A Quality Building Warrant Application: What You Need To Know

Every New Zealand business owner should know what a building warrant of fitness is. This crucial document helps let everyone know that you are a responsible building owner who takes care of their structure and does their best to make the building as safe as possible for everyone around you. 

But how exactly do you apply for a warrant of fitness, what does it do and is it really that important? If you are a new building owner or need help understanding it, you might be wondering these questions. 

As always, it's best to be informed. This article will teach you all about this important document and how you can get a legitimate one for your building. 

What Is A BWOF?

A building warrant of fitness, often shortened to BWOF, is a document that confirms that your building's specified systems have been thoroughly inspected and maintained for the past 12 months as per your compliance schedule.

Your warrant of fitness must be renewed every year. To be safe, it would be best if you made sure to get your warrant renewed before your current one expires because not having a valid BWOF can lead to fines and penalties. 

When you have your valid BWOF, it must be displayed in a public part of your building. It should be easily visible and readable from wherever it is displayed. Doing so will show everyone that it is a valid document and that your building is safe and well-maintained. 

How Do I Get A Building Warrant Of Fitness For My Building?

So, clearly this is a very important document; how do you get one for your building? 

Getting the right forms and documents to submit an application for a warrant of fitness is relatively straightforward. You must obtain a Form 12A from an IQP, or independent qualified persons, that states that your building’s specified systems have been properly inspected and maintained for the previous 12 months.

Your building's specified systems must be correctly maintained and inspected. You should follow a good compliance schedule that ensures that all of your systems are maintained in a timely manner. If you do, you should probably be able to get a building warrant of fitness. 

'Specified systems' refers to systems and fixtures that affect the safety of your building. These can include automatic fire suppression systems such as:

  • Automated fire suppression systems, like sprinklers.
  • Lifts, escalators or other fixtures that are built to move people or things from one place to another. 
  • Ventilation or air cooling systems.
  • Emergency lights.
  • Emergency power systems. 
  • Smoke Control Systems.

If you neglect any of these systems, then they could malfunction, which could put people in serious danger. 

You need to contact an independent qualified person when you are ready to have your building inspected to get your Form 12A. If all goes well, you will get your form, and you can then submit an application for a building warrant of fitness. 

What Happens If I Fail To Get My BWOF?

Not getting your BWOF can lead to a few bad things. For one, it signals to your guests and staff that your building is unsafe and that they could be in danger. If the structure's specified systems aren't maintained, they could be unreliable, and thus they could be seriously dangerous. 

You will also be held accountable by the law. A building owner who requires a BWOF and fails to get one can face expensive fines and penalties for every day that they don't have a warrant of fitness. So, making sure that you always have a valid BWOF is a must. 

Furthermore, even if you have your official, valid building warrant of fitness, you still need to display it correctly to be up to code. As mentioned above, your warrant of fitness needs to be prominently displayed in a public space in your building where people can clearly see it.

Displaying your warrant poorly, or displaying a falsified warrant, will also lead to penalties. 

Remember These Points

  • As you start the process to get your own BWOF, remember:
  • A BWOF is a very important document that signifies that your building has been correctly maintained and inspected. It tells everyone that your structure is safe. 
  • In order to apply for your own BWOF, you must have your building inspected. You must obtain your Form 12A from an independent qualified person. 
  • Failing to get your BWOF, or displaying it improperly, can lead to expensive fines. 

I Need Help, Whom Can I Go For Professional Assistance?

For expert help, speak to our Compliance Consultants team. We are a modern, reliable team of people who are committed to helping New Zealand building owners keep their structures safe and correctly taken care of.

We know all that there is to know about building compliance and how you can get a building warrant of fitness. If you have any further questions, or if you'd like to hire us, please call our helpful team at 0800 325 435.

With Compliance Consultants, you can ensure that your building is entirely up to code.