This lot owner is concerned about off the plan apartment defects in their scheme in the ACT. Christopher Kerin, Kerin Benson Lawyers provides the following response.
Question: An off the plan apartment has significant plumbing issues. The defects affect the whole building, not only individual apartments. Should the Body Corporate by pursuing the builders?
My son bought an off-the-plan apartment 12 months ago and there building defects, specifically significant issues with the plumbing. There is building material stuck in drains and also very significant flooding in the basement carpark.
The defects in the off the plan apartment complex appear to be building-wide and not only simply restricted to single apartments. Is this an issue that the Body Corporate should be pursuing with the builders, or are building defects of this kind something that would be covered under the strata’s building insurance? If damage occurs due to these defects, such as flood damaged carpets due to blocked drains, how do we proceed?
Answer: This is an issue that the executive committee should be pursuing given the owners corporation is responsible for the repair and maintenance of common property.
Yes. This is an issue that the executive committee should be pursuing given the owners corporation is responsible for the repair and maintenance of common property.
If the owners corporation does not pursue it, lot owners may take action against the owners corporation in ACAT for failing to repair and maintain common property.
I am happy to meet with the executive committee to explain all these issues and the steps available to them.
Or, my recently published book: The Guide to ACT Strata Law details these obligations at length and may be purchased on our website: Kerin Benson Lawyers. The book covers the issue of apartment building defects in detail in Chapter 9.
Dealing with Defects
A presentation made by Dr Hazel Easthope of UNSW at the Owners Corporation Network Quarterly Meeting May 2011 discussing strata building defects.
This post appears in Strata News #226.
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This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.