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Push to enforce building codes in NSW

By Staff Reporter
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Home unit owners will be pushing the NSW government to enforce relevant building codes, after concerns with the high numbers of defects in strata buildings.

Stephen Goddard, lawyer and president for the Owners Corporation Network, said that for some people it can be “high rise hell”.

“There are too many flawed buildings and an industry culture of ignoring responsibility for the huge number of new buildings with defects,” he said.

“And this is happening in a context of government permissiveness about how the industry behaves and is monitored.”

OCN will urge Government agreement to a Fairness in Strata Charter to address the 85% rate of defects in new strata buildings, three-quarters of which are never fixed by developers.

Units are the fastest growing form of residential property ownership with over half the dwellings built in metropolitan areas now strata titled.

According to the OCN, there are many developers who regard built-in defects as an acceptable and even a convenient way of saving on construction costs.

“Then there are building certifiers who don’t do their job, warranties not worth the paper they’re written on, government that doesn’t seem to care and owners ending up with litigation and sky high remediation costs that in many cases they can’t afford,” Mr Goddard says.

Some of the case studies that demonstrate problems within the existing system include fire safety certificates issued to non-compliant buildings and builders failing to remedy documented defects.

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