Deadline looms for free repairs on dodgy NSW apartments

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
3 Min Read

New South Wales residents have until Thursday this week to apply to have their defective apartments fixed cost-free as part of a NSW Government initiative.

Project Intervene will support body corporates of recently completed and occupied apartment buildings to have serious defects fixed at no cost, avoiding the need for litigation.

More than 150 buildings across the state have already applied to the scheme, which will remedy any significant deficiencies in the building’s common property areas.

Some defects body corporates hope to amend include waterproofing, fire safety systems, doorways, structural issues and building services.

Almost four in ten new apartment buildings in NSW are completed with severe defects, costing body corporates an average of $331,829 per building to amend.

Sydney resident Thomas Mann told Build-it that his body corporate had already applied to fix several common area ceiling leaks at his Zetland-based apartment building.

“From what I have been told, it could be a big job to fix, so it’s been a massive relief knowing we don’t have to come up with the cash or empty the sinking fund to get it sorted,” he said.

“You would expect better from a building only completed last year.”

NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler says the initiative saves apartment owners hours of stress and thousands of dollars chasing rectification of shoddy building work.

“Serious defects within the common property create a significant financial and emotional toll, and owners corporations are often left with years of expensive litigation without any rectification of the defects,” he said.

“From facilitating agreements on the list of serious defects to ensuring the remediation work is compliant and delivered on time, Project Intervene supports owners, corporations and developers.”

Once accepted into the program, the initiative will facilitate agreement for fixing the issue, ensuring compliance and on-time completion for residents.

Aside from the reconstruction costs, apartment owners are set to save by avoiding steep legal and expert fees, an agonising path that can take years to come to fruition.

Only occupied residential apartment buildings of four storeys and higher constructed in the last decade are eligible whose developer is still in operation.

Mr Chandler says those eager to apply must do so before Thursday this week.

“I would encourage owners corporations wanting to register for Project Intervene to act now as the 30 November 2023 deadline is fast approaching”.

To check your apartment complex’s eligibility and register, visit the Project Intervene website.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.

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