Leaky apartment owners face multiple rounds of repairs

Last Thursday was the inaugural meeting of the Auckland branch of the Body Corporate Chairs’ Group, a group formed to assist those owners administering thousands of units across the city (to read more about the group, click here). According to Chairwoman Lyn Gillingham,  leaky apartments were a main topic of discussion, with many owners undertaking further repair after a previous fix failed or new issues came to light.

Ms Gillingham says a common theme is that owners do not take action or seek advice when problems are first identified, due to concern about protecting their investments. This delay can result in more expensive repairs required further down the track.

Further concerns reportedly expressed by the chairs surround the role of councils, picking the right experts to contract with, and the ability of contracting parties to hide behind limited liability provisions in contracts.

Michelle Hill of Kensington Swan presented at the meeting, providing information about the escrow arrangements available through Westpac, BNZ and ASB banks, which provide a framework for bodies corporate to effectively apply payments to be used for remediation purposes.

While it is disconcerting that owners are facing multiple rounds of major works to resolve defects, bodies corporate grappling with remedial works (often long after defects are first identified) is not new. Last week, we referred to the ongoing difficulties faced by Auckland’s most notorious leaky building, Spencer on Byron, in getting its repairs underway, and the importance of ensuring all owners are on the same page at the earliest opportunity to secure a successful outcome. Click here for the article, and here for the KS newsflash.

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