24/08/2019 at 7:07 am #41204
Greetings all –
We are in a new 105-unit development in Sydney. The SC wants to appoint a building surveyor to document flaws and faults in the structure before the warranty runs out. It’s not an Opal Towers, but a few issues have been identified. What criteria should we apply in the selection process? Should they be in the Master Builders Association? Do any of you Flatchatistas have anyone whom you would recommend?
Yours in hope,
Barney.24/08/2019 at 10:11 am #41245
Hi, I haven’t tried these methods, however, seems reasonable to suggest, Owners Corporation Network discussion group. http://www.ocn.org.au
There is also Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors. Ph 02 8234 4000. Or simply try Yellow Pages directory, at http://www.yellowpages.com.au
ln my experience with anything like this, it will pay to collect research on your precise requirements ahead of any appointment. Best of luck!29/08/2019 at 1:06 pm #41441
Strata AnswersFlatchatter(from NSW)
Not sure whether you are a newish building concerned about catching defects before the 2 years warranty on non structural items runs out or whether you are looking at documenting those defects covered by the 6 year warranty.
Whichever it is, your forward thinking is admirable and the question around the qualifications of your defects consultant most relevant. The type of consultant you engage would depend upon the nature of the defects you anticipate. Some things to think about:
- What sort of consultant do you need? You may need more than one specialist. For instance fire related defects require the services of a fire services consultant
- Your consultant needs to be able to report concisely and methodically – sounds obvious but we have seen reports that do not focus specifically on those issues that are the subject of the warranty claim.
- You may have the same defect repeated in multiple places. Your consultant must document each and every one of these instances, as opportunities for claiming a defect as systemic or generic are limited.
- Think about whether your claim might have to be litigated – might have to be a considerable $ sum to make this worthwhile, but if it is, you will need a consultant who has had experience giving evidence in court
- Top end of town engineers are not always the best people to identify defects. You might well be better off with a Building Consultant who has had practical building experience – especially for defects like waterproofing
- Getting access to apartments in a 105 unit development can be a challenge. There may be instances where your consultant considers that inspection of a sample of units may be adequate, but you need to be prepared to put perhaps multiple consultants through all the apartments, perhaps on more than one occasion. How flexible is the consultant with their scheduling ?
Timing is Critical
We have seen schemes where the developer and builder offer continuous assurances that the defects will be fixed, all this whilst the time window for getting a consultant’s report and lodging a claim gets ever smaller.
It sounds like you are on top the claims process but many warranty claims have failed for being technically out of time.
As you probably know, the time clock for claims on home building warranties starts ticking when the building work is completed (practical completion) which may well be a date before any owner has moved into their apartment. If you have any doubts about the timeframe for lodging your defects claim, legal advice is vital.
At Strata Answers we work with owners and Strata Committees guiding them through the defects claim process and providing the sort of hands on assistance that many strata managers do not have the resources to do. We are always pleased to assist.