Nearly four in 10 new apartment buildings in NSW have serious defects, costing an average $331,829 per building to fix, according to new research by the Strata Community Association NSW:
A survey of 1400 strata managers of residential buildings of four storeys or higher built in the past year was completed as part of a joint initiative between the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner and the state’s peak strata body…
Waterproofing (23 per cent) was the most common major defect followed by fire safety (14 per cent), while almost one in 10 buildings had structural and enclosure defects, which can include anything that protects homeowners from the elements…
There are 921 words left in this subscriber-only article.
Get your first month for $1
The research found that resolving defects was a long, drawn-out process that took up to 12 months or more to come to a conclusion for 38 per cent of owner corporations.
There is nothing new here. In 2019, Four Corners aired a segment entitled Cracking Up, where building law expert Bronwyn Weir encapsulated the issue with the following:
“We have hundreds of thousands of apartments that have been built across the country over the last two, three decades. Probably the prevalence of noncompliance has been particularly bad, I would say in the last say 15 to 20 years […] And that means there’s a lot of existing building stock that has defects in it […] There’ll be legacy issues for some time and I suspect there’ll be legacy issues that we’re not even fully aware of yet”.
The high-rise debacle is the result of the failure of policy, which deregulated the building industry and eliminated the need for qualified inspectors to ensure these structures were built correctly.
The situation was made worse by 15 years of hyper immigration, which required building tens-of-thousands of extra homes every single year, thus leading to speed over quality and compromised building standards.
The situation needs to be urgently fixed given the Urban Taskforce projects that half of Sydney’s residents will live in apartments by 2057:
Or policy makers could simply abandon the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ model and eliminate the need to build these apartments in the first place?