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New policy: On-sold over-cap properties

On 15 August 2019 the Government announced a policy that allows owners of on-sold over-cap properties in Canterbury to apply for an ex gratia Government payment to have their homes repaired.  

If you’ve bought a home in Canterbury and discovered that it is damaged over the EQC cap, you may be eligible for an ex gratia payment to cover the cost of repair. 

Under the policy, you will have twelve months (no later than 14 August 2020) to register your interest for the ex gratia payment. After that time, the policy will not be available. 

If you qualify you may be able to receive an ex gratia payment equal to the agreed cost of repair. 

How to qualify for the support package

You may be eligible to receive the payment under the support package if you meet all of the following: 

  1. You have purchased a property in Canterbury after 4 September 2010 (the date of the first 7.1 magnitude Canterbury earthquake) and on or before the announcement of this support package on 15 August 2019; and 

  1. Before selling the property the previous owner settled a claim with EQC on an under-cap basis; and EQC cover depends on how the natural disaster damage occurred. 

  1. Post-sale you have discovered the property has incomplete or insufficient repairs either as a result of defective repair or through damage which had not been properly assessed; and 

  1. The cost of the repair, together with the amounts previously paid by EQC for the property is more than the EQC cap ($100,000 +GST); and 

  1. You are unable to access private insurance to cover the cost of repairs. 

If you would like to register your interest for the ex gratia payment please use this online on-sold property register of interest form.
Alternatively use our printable register of interest PDF form.

You can also call us on 0800 DAMAGE (326 243) or email info@eqc.govt.nz 

What is payable under the policy

Where the eligibility criteria are met, payment will be based on a scope of works that takes into account: 

  • the work required to repair the natural disaster damage in accordance with the EQC Act, and 

  • any other reasonable cost of that repair work. 

We may have settled the original homeowner’s claim by a managed repair (where we undertook the entire repair process), cash payment (where the homeowner receives a cash payment and manages the repair themselves), or a combination of the two. 

If a previous homeowner received a cash payment for some or all of the repairs, and those repairs need addressing, you will need to find out who did the work, and what warranties are in place. You can read about warranties on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s building website

If you find that the repairs have not been carried out, you may need to find out more from the person you bought the home from, and the real estate agent you used to buy the property. 

It’s important that any payment you receive is used for repairing or replacing damaged property. Any future insurance claims or cover may be affected if the payment is not used for this purpose. 

Has the EQC claim been assigned to you?

For the benefit of an EQC claim to be paid to you, the right to the claim needs to be transferred to you. This process is called ‘assignment’.  

Read more about transferring a claim.

Read our factsheet for more information for on-sold over-cap property owners.

Who else can help? 

  • Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service 
    (GCCRS) provides free, impartial claim advice and coordination. Call GCCRS on 0508 624 327, visit their office at Level 2, 145-161 Cashel Street, Christchurch or read more at www.gccrs.govt.nz 

  • Canterbury Support Line provides support for a range of social and wellbeing issues, including access to support and information for dealing with earthquake-related matters. Call the Support Line on 0800 777 846, open 24 hours every day, for free and confidential information. 

If you’re looking to buy a property it is important to consider the due diligence process. You can read about getting help to assess risks in an area affected by earthquakes, floods or other natural disasters when buying a house, on the Consumer Protection website

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