NSW Lot Owners are wondering what they need to know about building defects ready for the first AGM. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata and Rod Smith, The Strata Collective provide the following response.
Jump directly to the QUESTION you are after:
- QUESTION: How long after the building is built are we covered for any building defects? We have loud banging noises which have been reported since day one.
- QUESTION: What should lot owner’s know at the First AGM regarding building defects? Do we need to know about enforcing statutory warranties?
Question: How long after the building is built are we covered for any building defects? We have loud banging noises which have been reported since day one.
How long after the building is built are we covered for any defects?
We have banging noises which have been reported since day one, and no one can find out what it is. How long are we covered if anything happens to the building? The builder is happy to fix but no one knows what it is.
Answer: You need to work out what the problem is before you can work out who’s responsible.
Banging noises in my experience is usually a thing called water hammer. Water hammer happens when the pipes in the building have pressure in them and they bash against each other. Or it’s sometimes the cause of the noise is the lift, but I’d say its water hammer.
We had this issue in one of our city buildings and we had a hydraulic engineer come and work out what needed to be done. I’ve also had the problem in smaller buildings that didn’t get a hydraulic engineer. They turned down the water pressure on the pumps as well as the hot water system so the water wasn’t flying up and causing that bang. There are sometimes a few things you can do about that.
The easiest way to find out what the issue is, is to get your local plumber or your pump technician to have a look at it and see if there’s anything that they can see.
If not, you can get a hydraulic report. But, to answer your question I think you need to work out what the problem is before you can work out who’s responsible. It’s awesome that the builder wants to come back, but I think you’ll probably need to do them a favour and try and work with them or maybe even their original hydraulic engineer and work out what’s causing the problems. Look at how to fix it and solutions around that and then have the conversation.
This post appears in the August 2020 edition of the NSW Strata Magazine.
Question: What should lot owner’s know at the First AGM regarding building defects? Do we need to know about enforcing statutory warranties?
My son recently bought a new top floor unit in a 3 storey new complex. We settled late 2018 and had found several defects which we emailed to our conveyancer to send onto the developer’s/vendor’s solicitor.
It was close to Christmas and tradesmen went on holidays. None of the defects were rectified until mid-Jan when workmen returned to work. It took numerous text, emails, calls to the developer who told us that we should contact his builders, who told us that it is not their responsibilities to get some of the defects done.
My son did not move into the unit until 1 1/2 months after settlement. We are having the first AGM soon and we have a lot of questions regarding the developer’s responsibilities and our rights as the purchaser in this complex to ensure that it is minuted in the minutes.
What should lot owner’s know at the First AGM?
Does the developer continue to be responsible for any defects for the next 6 years according to the NSW Home Building Act so that expenses do not come out from the owners corporation?
Having dealt with both the developer and builders for the last 2 months we found them to be very doggy and we want to ensure that their dogginess is not going to impact on the owner’s corporation’s funds.
Answer: The owners corporation needs to enforce the statutory warranties – depending on the contract date for the works.
The system is based on self- help. The owners corporation needs to enforce the statutory warranties – depending on the contract date for the works, the owners corporation may have 2 year/6 years warranties for non-major and major defects respectively.
The Owners Corporation will need to engage expert specialists to assist in determining the nature of each defect, this will report will assist with negotiations and legal proceedings if negotiations are unsuccessful in addition to properly determining a core list of defects within the building.
Of course, if the developer was “honourable”, then they would be fixing the defects at their own costs but in some cases, it does require an owners corporation to take legal action to enforce its warranty rights.
This post appears in Strata News #237.
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These articles are not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
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