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Don’t blame it on the rain: 5 point action plan for building water penetration

Posted 29 May 2015

Category: Building Defects, Strata Insurance

The recent deluge has provided a serious water resistance test for strata and other buildings. Many buildings have failed that test, with serious water penetration issues being identified and water damage being sustained. Some things for property owners to consider:

1. Lot or common property

If part of a strata scheme, there may be others responsible for the water entry.

Is the cause of the water entry located in the lot or the common property? If in the lot it is the owners responsibility. If the cause is through the common property the owners corporation would normally be responsible.

2. Defective building works.

Is defective building work an issue? Entry of water from external sources often indicates defective building work. If your home, do you have a claim against the developer and /or builder, based on the construction contract or the statutory warranties under the Home Building Act 1989? If a strata building, does the owners corporation have such a claim?

If you have experienced such issues, you should obtain legal advice urgently. There are tight time limits for commencing proceedings, which could be about to expire and failure to take action before they expire could result in loss of your rights. For works under contracts dated from 1 February 2012, the warranty period will generally be two years. That is a tight timeframe to identify the defect, let alone pursue legal action.

3. Home owners warranty insurance

If applicable, have you notified the home owner warranty insurance insurer?

4. Home contents policy

Is the damage to your contents covered by your home contents policy?

5. Building policy

Has the building been damaged? If your home, is it covered by your building policy? If a strata building, is the owners corporation doing something about it?

We can assist with these matters and failing to take action can have serious consequences, including loss of rights.

***The information contained in this article is general information only and not legal advice. The currency, accuracy and completeness of this article (and its contents) should be checked by obtaining independent legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon its contents in any way.

Bannermans Lawyers