Several apartment owners in New South Wales, particularly in Sydney, have been entangled in legal battles with developers over major defects of strata spaces.
Experts believe that this represents the downside of a building boom for high-rise properties in the region, as the glut in construction indicates that more buildings may turn out to have certain problems, such as mould and leaks.
Bill Randolph, University of New South Wales’s City Futures Research Centre director, said that the absence of records makes it impossible to determine the number of apartments with leaks or defects. The centre’s 2010 survey, however, revealed that 85 per cent of respondents have lived in defective buildings that were built since 2000.
Some owners decided to file a legal complaint against the developer, whilst others chose to fix the problem themselves to avoid the troublesome process of court litigation. Their solutions included ceiling repairs and the installation of waterproofing tiling in Sydney. In worse cases, some owners have even built a makeshift water dam to keep rainwater from leaking through the floor.
Falling Apartment Prices
Another negative impact of a building boom includes falling prices of apartments, according to some economists. Experts say that price drops are bound to happen in Sydney, where apartment values have risen in almost three years.
Despite cheaper prices, buyers still find it too expensive to buy properties in Sydney. As such, the demand has faltered and caused a market slowdown. In the city’s construction hot spots, such as Sydney Olympic Park and Parramatta, median prices have fallen by as much as $145,000 in the last 12 months.
The high cost of apartments in Sydney should lead prospective owners to be extra careful when checking any defects in their chosen strata unit. It pays to be more prudent in foreseeing problems, instead of finding yourself in a legal battle against the developer.