Your Master Build Multi-Unit 10-Year Guarantee - Cover and Cost

The Master Build 10-Year Guarantee is the market leader, our multi-unit guarantee is specifically designed for developments of 11 units or more. The Master Build Multi-Unit 10-Year Guarantee provides an additional level of rigor and risk management for your development and will be a strong selling point for homebuyers. It provides the best peace of mind in the market for developers, builders, and homeowners.    

We have recently updated Master Build Multi-Unit 10-Year Guarantee to reflect changes in the way New Zealand is building. As our cities grow, so does our need for larger housing developments and multi-unit dwellings. Master Builders wants to support and ensure the success of these developments, which is why we have introduced new criteria that exceed the minimum standards of the building code. These changes will come into effect on 1 April 2024.

Builders and developers will apply for a Guarantee as they always have, via the application form available on Offsite. The application will be reviewed by our Guarantees team, and the design of the development will be assessed by an independent building consultant against our criteria and the E2/AS1 building code.


How much does it cost?

The Master Build Guarantee usually costs less than 1% of the total build cost.

The tiered pricing structure means the purchaser of the unit gets the right level of protection based on the total build cost of their unit. The below costs reflect the price for each unit, not the entire development.

Total build cost per unit (inc. GST) Multi-unit cover cost (inc. GST)
$30,000-$200k $ 800
$200,001-$400k $1,400
$400,001-$600k $1,665
$600,001-$800k $1,865
$800,001-$1m $2,065

The Guarantee will be transferred into the name of the first purchaser at no cost. The cost of transferring the Guarantee if the first purchaser sells the unit is $350.00 (including GST).


Why is the update needed? 
More multi-unit homes are now being consented than standalone houses, and we are also seeing growing demand for the Master Build Multi-Unit Guarantee to cover these projects. We support these developments, and we also recognise that they have their own unique risks that differ to typical residential building projects. To address this, we have updated the Master Build Multi-Unit Guarantee to manage the higher risks that come with these large scale developments and ensure that quality is included at every stage of the build process.   

What has changed? 
We have updated the 10-Year Master Build Multi-Unit Guarantee to streamline and clarify the application process and criteria. As with all our guarantees this includes ensuring the builder is in a strong financial position, with a good history of similar developments. We will also assess the plans for the development to ensure they are sound and do not include any high-risk elements, particularly concerning weathertightness. We engage an independent building consultant, Maynard Marks, to review and assess each application. This process provides an additional level of rigor and risk management for your development and will be a strong selling point for homebuyers.  

A New Multi-Unit Definition
In addition to updating the design criteria, we have also updated our definition of a Multi-Unit project. Our new definition of a multi-unit is: 

“A development, or a series of buildings, that are connected together, whether they are all connected together, or connected in groups of two or more, and the development or series of buildings is intended to include 11 or more dwellings.” 

Irrespective of whether the works take place in stages, or over separate time periods, or on separate titles, if a development meets the definition above, it is a multi-unit development for the purposes of the Master Build Multi-Unit 10-Year Guarantee. 
Changes to the Design Criteria
Applications will no longer be automatically rejected for failing to specify RAB (Rigid Air Barrier) or for having a low-pitch roof. However, these aspects will still be evaluated during the E2/AS1 external moisture assessment and may influence the final decision.  Multiple stand-alone dwellings will no longer need to be part of a Multi-Unit Guarantee, even in developments with more than 11 units. This means all stand-alone properties can be applied for under the standard Master Build 10-Year Guarantee. 

The design criteria which all multi-unit applications must comply with are: 

The must haves: 

  • an eave 
  • visible gutter overflow
  • an adjusted E2/AS1 risk score of 13 or lower. 

The prohibited items: 

  • curved metal roof 
  • deck or balcony over habitable accommodation 
  • sub terranean/multi-level retaining  
  • more than 3 levels 
  • horizontal/stacked apartments

Will this impact the guarantees I already have in place?  
We are updating you now to ensure you have the next six months to prepare for when the new criteria comes into place on 1 April 2024. This means you will have time to discuss the new criteria with your designers, architects, and clients. We recommend you adopt the new criteria as soon as practical for upcoming developments. We will be assessing applications received between now and 1 January 2023 against this new criteria, but developments which are outside of this criteria can still receive a guarantee.  Properties that already have a Master Build 10-year Guarantee will continue to have cover.   

 Master Builder members can access more information and application forms on our members only website. Alternatively, you can give the guarantees team a call on  0800 762 328


What am I covered for? 
The Master Build Ten-Year Multi Unit Guarantee is tailored to meet your needs. Therefore, it is important to read and understand what you are covered for.
The maximum cover for all claims throughout the life of a guarantee is the total build cost of the unit or;

  • $200,000 1 bed/studio
  • $225,000 2 bed
  • $250,000 3 bed
  • whichever is less

Our Materials and Workmanship cover protects the purchaser of the unit if there is a problem with the expected standard of the work carried out by the builder or with the materials that have been used in the building work.
This includes where the builder has failed to:

  • Comply with your Building Contract and the building consent; or
  • Follow relevant building trade practices and standards that were in place when your building consent was issued; or
  • Comply with any relevant laws that apply to the building work; or
  • Comply with any relevant instructions or recommendations by the manufacturer or supplier of any materials used in the building work that were in place at the time the material was installed or used.


What’s covered? 
It is important to read the Guarantee Terms and Conditions and understand what you are covered for.

Cover for structural defects protects you if an issue with the expected standard of the work carried out by your builder results in Structural Defects to your home, including a problem with the weathertightness of your home (Rot and Fungal Decay).
Structural Defects include damage which makes your home unsafe, unsanitary or uninhabitable.

To be covered for Rot and Fungal Decay, the design, materials, and construction of your home need to achieve a score of 12 or less in the “Building envelope risk matrix” at the time the building consent was issued. The building envelope risk matrix is in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Acceptable Solution E2/AS1, which can be found on

What is not covered by the Master Build Multi-Unit 10-Year Guarantee?

We will not be liable for any claim under Structural Defects cover if:

  • The building work in the claim does not have the required building consents;
  • It does not comply with the Building Code or any building consent documents.
  • If you would like to talk to us, please contact us on 0800 269 119 or email us at


Find out all the information about the Master Build Multi-Unit 10-Year Guarantee here.