The NHBRC has Deregistered
from VAT and Adjusted their Fees


We have recently had a number of enquiries about how the NHBRC calculates the fees that have to be paid when a proposed new house is registered with them.

In 2011 the NHBRC was deregistered for VAT and they adjusted their registration fees accordingly.

Registration with the NHBRC

Every new home built in South Africa, since December 1999, must by law be registered with the NHBRC. No bank or home loan institution may lend money against the security of a mortgage bond unless the house is registered with the NHBRC. In addition to this the builder must be qualified, certified and registered with the NHBRC as well.



In another article,  NHBRC Suspends the Payment of House Enrolment Fees-PA003 we highlighted how the NHBRC is no longer allowing the registration fee to be bundled together with the first draw that the home owner gets from the financial institution – referred to as the PA003. This now has to be done at the time of registration or the house will not be accepted onto the NHBRC’s system.

As at the 1st April 2014 the NHBRC increased their residential house enrollment fees by 14%. This increase only applies to non-subsidy enrolments including late inspection fees. Here are their published figures:

Table of new NHBRC fees

Here is a breakdown of how the fees are calculated. These are the older figures and we have left them in this post as they will give you an idea (on the right hand side) how the NHBRC goes about their calculations for the fees that they charge. We do advise you to check with your local NHBRC office for the most up to date figures. This table will give you a good idea as to how they have structured the fees and what you can expect to pay.


Fee Structure>



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  1. Johannes Maheso

    Good day Sir/Madam
    My company was once registered with nhbrc in a different name.I have registered the present company because the other name was not marketable for some reason,now I would like to continue using the old nhbrc registration number instead of registering a new one.Please advise me which steps I must follow thanks.
    Yours Faithfully
    LJ Maheso

  2. Hi Johannes, You must contct the NHBRC directly on Toll Free No. 0800 200 824, or go to their website http://www.nhbrc.org/

  3. queen makili business trading

    we did regester but our problame to renew a certficate

  4. Hi, You are on the wrong website. You need to go to the NHBRC.org

  5. Hi, I’ve tried the NHBRC website but that appears to be out of order. We’re living in a house that has been leaking ever since building completion +-4 years ago, we have tried various waterproofing solutions but to no avail. A friend has now said that I should claim against the NHBRC but I do not know if this is possible or how I would go about doing that. Do you perhaps have any suggestions? Thanks!

  6. Would like to regester for NHBRC.
    Plaese let me now what I need to do please and sent me all nececerly dokument to fill out please/

    Thanks Gerrit
    Elger Projects.

  7. H Gerrit,
    You are at the best website in South Africa for Building Regulations but we do not do registrations, you have to go to the NHBRC website: http://www.nhbrc.org/
    They sometimes do have problems with the site so just keep trying. You must come back here if there is anything you need to know about the Regulations.

  8. Gerrit please contact the NHBRC. We don’t have anything to do with them.

  9. Is the COC for plumbing compulsory when selling a house?

  10. Patrick all plumbing should be certified, whether after the initial installation or when new work is done – e.g. if an electric water heater is replaced or if a solar water heating system is installed. Generally COCs are issued for any plumbing work that is valued at over R1500. It is generally given to the owner, the local authority and sometimes an insurance company (if the work was done as part of an insurance claim). Only qualified, registered plumbers can issue COCs. Remember, too that it is illegal for any person who works on plumbing installation if he/she is not a qualified plumber or not working under the adequate supervision of a qualified plumber.
    So if one is selling a house, there should be an existing COC that a buyer could call for.

  11. Kirsty the NHBRC website does seem to go on the blink now and then – just keep trying. It’s working today!
    You can’t claim against the NHBRC itself. However the NHBRC has a warranty scheme for people who have built using NHBRC-registered builders – and they will cover certain things including leaking roofs. Your builder should have been registered with the NHBRC, in which case you may be able to put in a claim – however only if you can prove a structural defect which has a five-year period in which you can claim. Unfortunately you have to claim against leaking roofs within the first year.

  12. I understand, reason for my question is because we were told that the COC for plumbing is only compulsory in Cape Town. The house will not be registered in Gauteng unless it has COC for electricity, it is not the case with the COC for plumbing.Thanks, is it true that it is not a law “yet” in Gauteng, I mean the compulsory COC for plumbing?

  13. Patrick then this is probably true – because the bylaws all vary. It is not something that is covered by the National Building Regulations. NB BYLAW vs LAW. There are also certain places that require a beetle certificate before they will do the transfer. Perhaps you can check this with IOPSA. They should know about all aspects of plumbing in the different regions.

  14. Hi Ladies
    I recently purchased your informative book “Owner Building in South Africa”. I am busy perusing various sections and realize that some info is out of date eg vat turnover R1m changed to R3m page 37, similarly the reference to capital gains. I’m sure this will be picked up in due course. My queries at this stage are related to the NHBRC as follows:

    1. I own an existing house which I purchased in 1990 (pre NHBRC). If I was to sell this house at any stage presumably it would have to be NHBRC enrolled? If so, who pays the buyer or the seller.

    2. Secondly I built a house in 1994 and paid the NHBRC premium which was based solely on the building contract amount. (although I took great exception to the fact that this included fittings & furnishing allowances). To rub salt into the wound I am now told that the premium must now include the price of the land as well (relating to point 3 below). I have searched the NHBRC website but can’t find the definition of “selling price” or the amount on which the premium is calculated. Do you know where I can find a definition.

    3. I recently purchased some land and am considering the owner-building approach. How does one obtain NHBRC exemption which seems to be an option from your book, when I am the person responsible for artisan recruitment etc.

    Many thanks

    Ed Hill

  15. Ed, First off, I don’t think my husband who is co-author of Owner Building will appreciate being called a lady! LOL
    Secondly, unfortunately things like VAT and other numbers do change. We update as often as the publisher sees fit.
    But to answer your NHBRC questions:
    1. If the house was built pre-NHBRC it would not be enrolled. End of story.
    2. I assume that you paid your contractor for the fees due to the NHBRC – in which case your question should be addressed to the contractor. It is the contractor’s responsibility to pay these fees, not the owner’s.
    3. The NHBRC has forms that you will need to fill in when you apply for an exemption, and you need to prove that you own the property. They will email them to you if you phone and them and ask them to do so. You will though still need a competent person to draw up your plans and submit these to the local authority for you, and follow through on the build.

  16. The NHBRC says that the fees are based on “selling price”.
    We have received two confliction pieces of information.
    The source said that the selling price includes the price of the land and the other one said it is for the building only. This makes quite an impact on the total fee.
    I personally do not understand what the cost of the plot would have to do with the fee, since they are only covering the building. But one never knows…


  18. Hi SBONELO, We do not do registrations. You must go to the NHBRC website Click Here nhbrc.org

  19. Hi Ed

    We are NHBRC Consultants assisting builders/developers/homeowners with all NHBRC related matters.

    1. It the house was built prior to 1998 – NO NHBRC is required
    2. Selling price is defined by the NHBRC as building contract price + land price. as the house will be enrolled under your builders name this is seen as his “selling price” to you. It is a bone of contention at the moment as financial institutions demand that the enrolment price be uplifted to the selling price once you sell the house to another person. In a case like this I suggest that you include a clause in the sale agreement that if your buyers bank wants the certificate uplifted that it will be for the buyers account
    3.Please see our discussion group on LinkedIn regarding Owner Builder Exemption – My advice to you is NOT to go this route as it will cause endless problems later on when you want to sell the house

  20. Hi Janek

    Please note that the NHBRC has increased their enrolment fees by 14% on the 1st of April 2014. The fees however remain excluding VAT

  21. Hi, I would like to find out who pays the NHBRC fees and what do they cover..pleas assis me/

  22. Good day,
    Please can you assist. We are currently building a house to the value of R1 350 000, please can you advise what the fees is that the builder should charge for NHBRC?

  23. At the end of the day it is the home owner that pays the fees as a guarantee on his new house. You can have an agreement with the builder that he pays the fees and you then pay him back included in the building quote. The NHBRC will no longer allow the fees to be paid from the first bond draw from the bank, read here: nhbrc-suspends-fees-included-pa003 What the NHBRC covers is in this post here: nhbrc-qas

  24. Good day ,
    Could you give me the reason as to why the enrolment fee is calculated on the cost of the land /plot plus the cost of building the new dwelling & not only on the building cost .
    Awaiting your reply

  25. I think that is a question that the NHBRC should answer. The link to their website is: http://www.nhbrc.org.za

  26. Jurgen you can read our article about the NHBRC fees here: nhbrc-fees

  27. It is not the builder that gets the fees it is what you have to pay the NHBRC when you register a new house. The builder just adds the fee into your cost. Read more about how the fees are calculated here: nhbrc-fees

  28. Hi
    I bought a house in 2010, but the house has so many cracks. The developer has ignored by complain about the cracks. I know the crack must be at least 5mm for the house to be a danger for me to live in, but these so many and one keep expanding. What I want to know is how to I get an inspector to come and inspect the house.

    Thank you

  29. Good day

    I am an owner of a new house built by developers and have discovered some new cracks showing up. Who is supposed to come and fix these cracks for good, not with poly-filler?

  30. Wayne thanks for the feedback. The problems will 3. only arises when you want to sell the house in less than 5 years. Some people try to use this way around to save money and sell quickly and this is when the problems arise.

  31. Thanks for this Wayne.

  32. You have to give a snag list to the developer and at the same time contact the NHBRC and put in a complaint with a snag list to them as well.

  33. If your house is not a RDP house and you bought it new then you can put in a complaint to the NHBRC here: lodge-complaint

  34. Hi, I need the bank details for the NHBRC to make a payment, I seem to have lost them. Do you have them?

  35. You need to contact the NHBRC directly and ask them, their number is 0800 200 824, or you can email them at thenhbrc@nhbrc.org.za or you can visit the website: http://www.nhbrc.org.za/

  36. The following regarding my house:
    July 2013 : Claim registered with NHBRC
    15 Aug 2013: Conciliation meeting
    14 Oct 2013: Report of structural Distress completed by engineer
    25 Feb 2014: Site inspection by NHBRC & contractors
    24 July 2014: Bring contractors to my house to clarify unclear items
    21 Aug 2014: Quote received by NHBRC and forwarded to Head Office for approval (according to mr Reuben Jonas-PE office).
    And now, almost 16 months later from the time the claim was registered,
    I am still waiting for a contractor to repair my house. Can someone
    please help me?
    I have written MANY e-mails to me Thobile Mgidi (PE-office)-last one was on 10 November 2014.
    I am still waiting for a response.
    F. Pieterse
    Home owner

  37. This is horrendous. Has there been any action yet?

  38. I Bafana would like to enroll for the cettificate and would like to know all fees .
    I hope my request will be considered
    I thank you

  39. Raffick Hoosen

    Hi I need help to get my nhbrc .

  40. We are registered company with NHBRC .we had a problem someone came to us saying he want our certificate so the bank can give him money to build his house .The bank give him the money then he changed the contractor .is it posible that i can sue the person.

  41. Roderick I would think you could sue the person. You could also lay a charge of fraud. I would contact the NHBRC and tell them what has happened. If you know where the person is building – try to find out which company or person is doing the building. Chances are that they are not registered – in which case the NHBRC should take action against that person. If you by any chance know which bank they are with, you should also notify the bank.

  42. Contact the NHBRC

  43. Please contact the NHBRC directly – good luck

  44. Please contact the NHBRC directly – good luck

  45. I would like to lodge a complain , about one of your registered person who had extended my property, I had a problem since last year, The project started early January 2014 and promises to finish end of March 2014 and never fulfil his promises, nothing is going right and now he doesn’t want to accept his mistakes.

    Now would like to hear from you what step should I take because really doesn’t work anymore.



  46. Hi Ntombizodwa, we do not do any construction work and we do not register any contractors with us, contact the NHBRC.

  47. I van Buisbergen

    How are you supposed to contact the NHBRC if they do not answer the telephones at renewals, or reply to emails or respond to faxes????? Also, the website is down???

  48. Thulani Mazibuko

    I am in the process of building a new house and would like to know how much will it cost to register the property. How can I get the quotation for registration fee for my plan.

  49. Contact the NHBRC directly. Their contact details are on their website.

  50. Hi why are we the public not informed prior to registering as owner builder that you can’t qualify if you already are the owner of a property and that act. 29 prohibit you from doing so. I went through the whole process wrote exams and passed and submitted all required documents but end up against a brick wall as NHBRC has no indication that this new house will be my primary residence and according to act. 29 I cannot register as owner builder. They make no provision for owner to build a beach house or a retirement house. When if ever will this change ?
    Now as a cash building owner of a new house making use of a registered builder as required by NHBRC, do I still have to pay say the 1,4% of the value of the land and house over to them or is there a choice for me not to have to pay this amount ?
    Thank you in advance.

  51. Hi,I’ve got a registered company and would like to do maintances and building a quality house, I want you to guide me how would I register my company with NHBRC and a how to have training with you plc give me full details and the costs.

  52. I want to build a house in bedfordview . Can you please give me an idea about the cost per square meter
    Thank you

  53. Quinton Manto

    Does the NHBRC have a standard rates sheet for home building to guide us to insure that the home builder we engage to build/ upgrade our home is within reason?


    I’m Morena Mahlaba,i will like to enroll with NHBRC

  55. Then I suggest you contact the NHBRC

  56. It would be a good idea to contact the NHBRC and ask them.

  57. No idea George. Contact builders for quotations.

  58. If I build a house at a rural or none municipality area, will I need to get my house plan approved before I can enroll with NHBRC?? I’m asking because it takes a long time to get the plan approved with the nearest municipalities.

  59. NHBRC said that they require R500,000 deposit with them interest free for 5 years for late registration with them. Who has that kid of money, Surely this is a ludicrous demand/request. Is that really possible ?

  60. Can the NHBRS really demand R500,000 deposit with them to remain with them for 5 years interest free, for late registration. I really cannot believe that is possible. Who has that kind of money ?

  61. It does sound exorbitant Nicky. If you can supply more info I’ll see what I can find out for you. You can email if you like.

  62. Legally rural and urban areas are covered by the same legislation!

  63. Edward you need to contact the NHBRC.

  64. It must be your primary residence for you to register as an owner builder and be granted an exception by the NHBRC. Basically it is intended to prevent people from speculating and/or carrying out a building and/or building for spec business. I assume though that you could challenge this and try to prove that it is your holiday or retirement home. But you’d probably need to work through a lawyer.
    Just one point though Dewald – the law is clear – and you as a law-abiding citizen are expected to comply with the law. To ask why “we the public” aren’t informed is nonsensical. All laws are published for you and everyone else to read. Ignorance is no defence in law.

  65. Hi Penny

    There is no standard rate, the price depends on numerous factors, such as design, finishing, area etc. The best option would be to get more than one quote and then do a comparison. Just ensure that the contractors are quoting on the same specifications and time scales, apples with apples. I am a building contractor myself, if you are in Guateng I would gladly give advice or a quotation.

    Enjoy your day


  66. Hi it buffles me as company that is registered with nhbrc ,after registering am left in the dark,they give piece of paper that its,they don’t give work or rates they just take thats it

  67. Good day. I would like to know if I should register for NHBRC if I want to build 3 houses on a property which I own for myself and my kids? I am not going to use a registered building company. Thanking you in advance

  68. I want to build a new hous, have approved plans, have an engineer overseeing the project why must i have a nhbrc builder seeing that i am paying cash and will face the concequinces i want my builder but his not registered with nhbrc can i start building i dont mind the risk i now my builder

  69. Hi ,

    I have submitted my plan for enrollment, I have paid the money that was requested.

    Its been now 2months since I submitted the plan but nhbrs is failing to issue me with certificate.
    I asked what could be the reason was told engineer is not available.

    I am frustrated because I am paying lots of money for pinalties in an estate all because of NHBRC they don’t want provide me with certificate.

    please advise where I can escalate the matter because everytime when I call the number people seems to be clueless.

    I am so frustrated

  70. I would go to an attorney!

  71. The only other option is for you to apply to the NHBRC for an exemption. You would then be classed as an owner builder and won’t have to pay the enrolment fee or use an NHBRC-registered builder. You will not though be able to sell the house for at least five years.

  72. First of all you need plans approved by the local authority – and their zoning by-laws will determine whether or not you can build three houses on the property. If you are building as an owner builder, you need to apply for an exemption (from enrolment) from the NHBRC. The thing is though that an owner builder has to live in a house for five years before they can sell – and you certainly can’t live in three houses at the same time! You could argue that one house is for you and two for your kids, but whether the council and/or NHBRC accept this is another story.

  73. I don’t understand!

  74. hi Penny,

    In order to enrol the property do I need to be NHBRC registered as an owner builder? Or can I just submit a plan, pay the fees and appoint a registered engineer and a registered builder?

  75. Only registered builders enrol houses. If you are planning to owner build, you need to apply for an exemption. This involves a multiple-choice test to ensure you know what you are doing. Plans go to the local authority – which is a separate issue.

  76. Hi Penny,

    My husband is a Building Contractor for many years. We always were under the impression that you only need to enrol with NHBRC if the client make use of a bank loan. Now the gay from NHBRC visited us and said that every house should be enrolled. Is that true? Why didn’t the Municipality told us that when we took the plans for approval? Could you send the answer to my email address please. Regards

  77. If your husband is a building contractor he should, quite frankly, know the laws as they apply to him. Every builder MUST be registered with the NHBRC and every house he/she builds must be enrolled. Only owner builders are allowed to apply from an exemption – i.e. not to enrol their house – and they have to do a test to show that they are knowledgable enough plus are not allowed to sell the house for at least five years after completion. So basically your husband has been operating illegally!

  78. Maurice Mushfieldt

    Hi Penny,

    Can you please explain to me what the NHBRC is giving me when I have my house built through a registered NHBRC builder.

    Thank you

  79. Maurice, you should get the benefit of their warranty, but it’s irrelevant! The fact is that in terms of our legislation you have to have the house built by an NHBRC-registered builder or apply for an exemption as an owner builder.

  80. Hi Penny

    I am about to start extending my existing house as soon as my Architecture completes the plans and registrations to the municipality.According to my architecture the site must be inspected and approved by an engineer before i can start and whose fees i must pay.I want to know if the engineer is still a must or necessary if i am using a NHBRC registered builder?

    Kindly forward reply to my email.Thanks

  81. Hi Brian, The NHBRC registered builder has nothing to do with your engineer and geotechnical site inspection. This has to be done in terms of the regulations and if fees have to be paid then this must be done.

  82. Hi , can I register as a owner builder when applying for a building loan?

  83. The banks won’t usually grant building loans to owner builders, purely because they want to be sure the house is professionally and correctly built. You can do a certain amount of work yourself, but this will have to be an arrangement you make with your builder … who will need to be registered with the NHBRC plus any other bodies or organisations required by the bank. You will also need to employ a competent person (eg an engineer) +++

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