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Case Study: Defects
Comprising well in excess of 100 apartments, this complex which was built back in 2015 had a considerable amount of defects, ranging from major structural to some cosmetic defects.
Due to the age of the complex and having dealt with defects similar to this before on behalf of other clients, our office met with the committee to recommend the best course of action.
Foreshew Strata Agency recommended to the owners corporation to undertake a defects report to all the common areas to review and report on structural defects, electrical defects, mechanical defects and fire defects.
At the same time, our office also recommended that costs are obtained for a specialist lawyer, as they may be required in the event that there is a dispute with the builder with respect to the defects.
Over the course of several months, Foreshew Strata Agency co-ordinated a quotations for the defect reports for review by the owners corporation in consultation with our office. A core requirement was that all reports had to refer to breaches of the Building Code of Australia and to be in a format that could be presented to court (as required).
Regular meetings were established with the committee for progress reports and to ensure that the project was on course in terms of time and money spent.
A decision was made with respect to the defects company(s) and they were engaged to carry out the inspections. Our office handled all communication to owners and residents for access, which was a large project in itself to ensure as many units were accessed with as little disruption on to residents.
After a couple of months the defect reports were provided for review. Our office reviewed these defect reports with the committee and agreed on an approach furnish the report to the builder and developer.
After allowing a certain period of time for a response, the was continued communication over the corresponding months about what defects were and were not agreed to by the builder. Our approach and recommendation is always to make a commercial decision, and in this regard in may be best to let some of the minor defects go to ensure that the builder attends to the major defects.
Our office was involved in co-ordinating the repairs, including access and monitoring what defects were attended to, as well as requesting the method of repair that was carried out. From our experience, builders may state that they have carried out the repair, but still may not have rectified the defect the correct way.
After receiving the report from the builder over many many months, our office then recommended to the owners corporation to have the defects consultant (same ones that carried out the initial report) to review the major defects that were identified to ensure that the builder had rectified them correctly.
In the end the defects other than some minor ones were rectified to the standard of the owners corporation, saving hundreds of thousand dollars in savings and avoiding a large legal bill.
If you know of a building in a similar circumstance and require assistance, don't hesitate to contact our office so we can have a no obligation discussion how we may be able to assist.