Finding new ways to improve, every day.

At Strata Plan, we strive to provide our customers with a hassle-free experience. As much as we want to achieve this mission, sometimes things don’t always go to plan. As such, our promise to our customers is that we find new ways to improve, every day. This is the reality we as a team had to face with the case study for this week.

 

Quick facts:

  • A property we manage in Brunswick West has identified defects shortly after the building handover
  • The builder unfortunately went out of business, leaving the new lot owners with a tricky situation in trying to figure out the liability for the defects
  • Strata Plan has worked with the committee to try and find a favourable compromise for everyone involved.

 

It’s always a worry for new homeowners to make sure that their recently built homes are as perfect as can be. However, there are some instances where defects are present. We wrote about how you can identify defects in a previous article.

 

The Australian Glossary of Building Terms defines a defect as “fault or deviation from the intended condition of a material, assembly or component. Despite the legal definition, defects are an emotional topic for homeowners.

 

Properties are a big investment, and it’s always understandable when owners want what’s best for them. It is not uncommon for people to have an emotional connection to their homes. After all, it is your home, the place where one should feel safe, and if there’s something wrong, we want to be able to fix it right away.

 

A building that Strata Plan manages in Brunswick East had encountered defects in their property both in common and private areas, shortly after the building handover. Normally, when lot owners become aware of a potential problem or issue with the building, they have up to 7 years under the “Home Building Warranty” to notify the builder of any major building defect and up to 10 years under Victorian Consumer Affairs law.

 

However, in this case, the builder went into administration and was unable to be contacted to rectify the defects.

 

Due to the size of the building, the builder was not required to take up Domestic Building Insurance and as a result of the builders going into administration, the cost to repair the common areas fell on the owners. Some of these defects include leaks, issues with the lift and a major fault with the car stacker.

 

This was not a situation anyone would want to be in. And it’s a tricky situation, both for the lot owners and for Strata Plan as the Owners Corporation Manager.

 

In most cases, Strata Plan as the Owners Corporation Manager assists the Owners Corporation in engaging with the builder, overseeing the repairs and ensuring the works are being completed in a timely and high-quality manner as per their statutory obligations. With the builder placed into administration, pursuing them was like chasing ten cents to a dollar.

 

However, we were not prepared to stop there. With the owners best interest at mind, the original sub-contractors were approached. When that didn’t work, a complaint to the VBA was lodged. Unfortunately, that also didn’t work, and the owners were left with over $60,000 worth of defects which works out to be approximately $2,000 per lot.

 

This unpleasant situation made the owners understandably upset, and with no one to hold accountable, the owners looked to Strata Plan for guidance and support.


Strata Plan worked with the committee to source quotes from various finance companies, to address the building defects so the owners didn’t have to fork out a single lump sum payment but could pay it off overtime. We made sure that we assisted the owners with anything they needed. We had their back, and we were committed to helping them.

 

It took us over a year, but the relationship with the committee is now going strong. Strata Plan stepped up, and with the cooperation from the committee, everyone banded together to try and get out of such an unfortunate situation.

 

This is the kind of dedication our team is ready to give for our customers. Why? Because we love what we do, and we do it for you.

 

After all, at Strata Plan, IT’S ABOUT YOU ❤️

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