Move for greater apartment owner protection

The WA Apartment Advocacy (WAAA) is working in co-operation with the Building and Energy Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (formerly WA Building Commission) in creating an education kit for apartment owners and potential buyers.

Building and Energy is currently progressing the implementation of the recommendations of the Shergold/Weir ‘Building Confidence Report’ through three separate reviews of the building legislation:

  • A review of the residential building approvals process;

  • A review of the commercial building approvals process; and

  • A review of the registration requirements for the building industry.

As such the timing of the education kit, which will include a checklist for pre-settlement and an outline of the new Building Regulations, will be launched in Perth in July before then being released on a National Scale.

Samantha Reece, Director of WA Apartment Advocacy stated that buyers were seeking more information about defects and warranty periods.

“Furthermore, we are recommending mandatory 12 month defect periods and the creation of Defect Management Strategies, so that new owners are aware of what they should be reporting to the strata manager, both during the warranty period and post.”

Ms Reece stated that while there were education kits and checklists for stand alone home market, the apartment sector was lacking in these same resources.

“Our research demonstrates that 70% of apartment owners are professionals or managers,” Ms Reece said.

“As such they want to know what they should be looking for with their future apartment purchase and this kit should now help them make more informed decisions.

“If the market is asking for a higher standard, then the Developers will undoubtedly respond and that will be a positive outcome for the sector overall.”

WAAA has now created a working group to develop the content for the kit which comprises of building inspectors, water membrane installers, building surveyors and the like. Updates will be posted over the course of the next few months.

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