New defect rectification guide helps current, future apartment owners navigate building faults
The NSW government is working towards better quality builds for the future with a new collaborative effort for a consumer friendly guide to help prospective purchasers, property owners and strata managers to navigate the complexities of identifying and rectifying building defects.
Researchers from UNSW Sydney’s City Futures Research Centre and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) have developed the ‘Strata Defects Rectification Guide’ in partnership with Strata Community Association (NSW) for strata owners and managers in New South Wales.
The online tool provides vital information to help property owners and strata managers navigate the process of identifying, documenting, reporting and rectifying building defects in strata schemes.
“It’s an informative guide to support strata property owners and purchasers worried about whether there are defects in an apartment building, and for owners who need more information on how to rectify defects in their strata scheme,” UNSW City Futures Research Centre Dr Laura Crommelin says.
“It will help owners to know what they should be thinking about, who they should be talking to, what sort of risks they should be looking at, as well as how to find out who is responsible for existing building defects. It can be hard for owners to find all the information they need to deal with defects; this guide is a tool that helps buyers and owners navigate that information asymmetry.”
While the NSW Government has introduced a suite of reforms to the multi-billion-dollar apartment building sector in the aftermath of Opal Tower, the guide complements these changes by focusing on consumers already in buildings impacted by defects.
“It’s essential that we build better buildings in future, and that we also support owners and residents in buildings that already have defect problems or will find they have issues in the years ahead. Defects can take time to become apparent and owners need to be proactive in dealing with them,” Laura adds.
Strata Community Association (NSW) believes this guide could be a ‘game changer’.
SCA (NSW) president Chris Duggan says the last few months have been a historic step forward for the strata industry in New South Wales; a sharp contrast for the sector which has been notoriously plagued by defects: “With the state’s reforms and the Building Commissioner reshaping construction quality, this guide complements the retrospective effort of the strata industry in educating managers and assists consumers to deal with the practical realities of defects.
“We are honoured to have helped fund and be associated with the development of the guide, as it will have important implications for the future of the strata industry.”
The guide can be accessed here: https://cityfutures.be.unsw.edu.au/research/projects/defect-rectification/