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Defects must be dealt with

Defects must be dealt with

Defects are expected in all new buildings with recent evidence indicating that there is a high rate of defects in new strata buildings in NSW. For this reason, it is important that Strata Managers know how to deal with defects as they arise.

According to a study undertaken by the City Futures Research Centre at UNSW*:

  • Almost two thirds of respondents who own a property built since 1997 reported ongoing defects in the building in which they own a lot. The most common defects related to water ingress.
  • Almost half of respondents who own a property run by a Strata Manager are dissatisfied with the way their Strata Manager treats major repairs and maintenance issues. The most common complaint was that Strata Managers did not provide the Executive Committee and/or the Owners with sufficient information.
  • Of respondents dissatisfied with their Owners Corporation, the most common concern in the treatment of major repairs and maintenance issues was the amount of time taken to reach agreement.

Common Defects

Some of the more common building defects include:

  • Internal water leaks;
  • Poor fire and safety compliance;
  • Defective balcony or balustrade design;
  • Defective services (e.g. broken lifts or air conditioning units);
  • Building movements;
  • Paint and rendering;
  • Electrical faults;
  • Tiling problems; and
  • Defects caused by inappropriate building materials.

Recurring Defect Problems

Some of the recurring problems in relation to strata defect claims include:

  • Claims which are out of time;
  • Poor expert reports;
  • Owners Corporations not following the correct processes;
  • Owners Corporations not choosing the right team;
  • That the developer and/or builder still hold control of the scheme which delays the rectification of defects;
  • The builder is no longer in business and therefore unable to remedy the defects;
  • An incompetent or deadlocked Executive Committee; and
  • Delays in the settlement of Home Warranty Insurance Claims.

It is important to recognise that defect claims require the effective management of a number of stakeholders as well as the effective management of legal and technical issues.

Download a printable version of this defects newsletter here.

Further Information

Learn more about our services to Owners Corporations.

If you would like any further information on this topic, please contact:

David Glinatsis

David Glinatsis

Solicitor Director
+61 2 8239 6502
Email David
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* Pages 4 and 5 of Dr Hazel Easthope. Prof Bill Randolph and Ms Sarah Judd “Managing Major Repairs in Residential Strata Developments in NSW” July 2009.