NSW Building Cuts Bad For Owners: Greens
From: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8362627/nsw-building-cuts-bad-for-owners-greens (accessed 19 October 2011)
New home building laws that have cut the warranty period for defects will leave owners “substantially out of pocket”, the NSW Greens say.
The Home Building Amendment Bill 2011 passed the state’s upper house on Wednesday, and included changes to the statutory warranty.
Currently, homeowners and builders can claim for building defects up to seven years from the date of work.
But in a move to align the claims period with the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme, that time limit has now been cut to six years for structural defects, and two years for non-structural defects.
“This reduction in warranty period will leave thousands of homeowners across NSW substantially out of pocket if they fail to identify defects in time,” Greens MP David Shoebridge said in a statement.
“Some defects like those of internal and external tiling can often take considerable time to identify.”
NSW Housing Minister Anthony Roberts said the existing seven year guarantee was not a “common sense approach” because it became difficult to establish whether a defect was caused by a builder or ordinary wear and tear.
“The changes to statutory warranty periods recognises that the current blanket approach to statutory warranties for structural and non-structural defects does not reflect market realities,” Mr Roberts said.
“Nor does it provide any incentive for homeowners to deal with defects in a timely manner.”
He said most complaints about non-structural defects were made within two years, and most complaints about structural defects were made within six years. (emphasis added)