Defects survey results released

The Australian Apartment Advocacy has undertaken its first round of analysis after 1020 respondents completed the inaugural national defects survey, released last October.

What was reassuring was that 40% of the respondents reported they had not experienced a defect and of the 60% that did, 30% of these defects had been fixed, and 63% of these in the first 12 months.

Water penetration from outside the apartment was the most common issue (54%), followed by internal water proofing (41%) and structural cracking (40%).

77% of those who found defects in their apartment were aware who had the responsibility for fixing the defect – with Body Corporate/Owners Corporations wearing the biggest financial burden with 44% of the defects reported.

Ms Reece, Director Australian Apartment Advocacy stated that it was clear that choosing a reputable builder and developer was key to future purchases.

"Buyers can take steps to ensure they are purchasing a quality apartment by appointing a buyers agent and doing background homework on both the developer and builder," Ms Reece said.

"Plus it is important that Owner's Corporations undertake annual building inspections to ensure that any issues are identified earlier than later and so that the burden of proof can be attributed to the builder/developer for rectification.

"It is clear that if owners did not experience a defect then their confidence rate for referring apartments was significantly higher than those that did (62% compared to 39%) and we are keen now on seeing State Government take strong and decisive action to restore confidence levels within the apartment sector."

AAA is now in the process of analysing each State before releasing the results through a series of presentations.

In conclusion, Ms Reece stated that the issue of defects was applicable to all new builds and not just apartments.

"There are a number of measures we would like to see introduced into each State to protect apartment owners and their homes and we will be lobbying actively on the 2.5 million apartment owners nationally that we represent."

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