Going back to the past
By Bailey Compton 27 Oct 2023
The good ol’ days were better for a change.
The legislature has tried to repair the damage to the apartment industry created by evil developers backed by corrupted private certifiers.
We all know that, a unit built before 1997, was or is a better construction than units constructed later.
Since 1997, private certifiers have been able to approve buildings. Because the certifier is paid by the developer, the certifier ends up valuing only their close relationship with developers. This leads to corruption and low standard.
Over the past 10 years, the Government has been attempting to address the problem by amending the law.
They have created the Building Bond Scheme, introduced the Residential Apartment Building (compliance enforcement) Act 2020, introduced Design and Licensing Legislation. This, however, does not remedy the situation. It does not prevent builders or developers going into liquidation and leaving re-rectification not complete.
An example is the Atmosphere building in Castle Hill. This is a Toplace building, which the building commissioners issued a rectification order. All we know, is that the major shareholder Jean Nassif, has found another place to love in the world. There is no means of paying for the rectification orders.
With no one left to sue, it is the Owner’s Corporation responsibility for maintaining and repairing the Common Property under Strata Management Act 2015. Owners have been required to pay a $1.8 million dollar contribution, just for the reports to identify the defects. They have no chance of recouping this from the developer or the builder.
In 2004, The Carr government abolished the Home Owner Warranty Insurance Scheme. Prior to the amendment to the Home Building Act 1989, the builder needed to obtain Home Owner Warranty Insurance to ensure that buildings were completed. The then Carr government reviewed and changed the laws to require only buildings below 4 storeys to have Home Owner Warranty Insurance. Now,
if you erect a granny flat, you are insured against building defects, but if you erect a high rise, the lot owners have no protection. We know that there is some discussion at the moment to create a Builders Fidelity Insurance Fund. It’s overdue, and it’s time the new Labour government redress the Evils of the past!