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Apartment owners suing Sydney developer Toplace over dozens of 'defects' in near new development

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Apartment owners in a large riverside apartment complex in Parramatta are suing developer Toplace over dozens of alleged defects discovered after the buildings were completed less than three years ago.

Key points:

  • Two of the three Riviera apartment towers were finished in mid-2018

  • The body corporate first launched court action in November 2018

  • A total of 45 separate types of defects were listed by solicitors

Two of Toplace's three Riviera apartment towers on River Road in West Parramatta were finished in mid-2018 but just months after settlement, the building's body corporate lodged action in the Supreme Court against the developers.

The body corporate claimed more than 40 types of defects were found, including corroding concrete and defective installation of windows, doors, bathtubs and toilets.

Toplace is the same developer behind the $260 million Skyview towers complex in Castle Hill, currently under review by its private certifier after concerns of alleged "defects" were noticed by Fair Trading officers who inspected the construction site in April.

The Riviera and Skyview apartments are among more than a dozen Sydney based projects built by Toplace in the last decade.

The body corporate, representing the owners of about 320 residential lots across the three Riviera towers, first launched action in the Supreme Court in November 2018.

The owners are seeking damages, interest and costs as part of the building dispute claim.

A total of 45 separate types of defects were listed by solicitors representing the body corporate in a 'Technology and Construction List' tendered to the court.

The list covers issues across six categories including acoustic, fire and life safety, hydraulic, electrical and mechanical matters, as well as other general building defects like incorrectly installed doors, concrete wall panels, expansion joints as well as bathtubs, hand basins and toilets.

Other defects claims relate to the installation of plasterboard walls, waterproofing of bathrooms and defective installation of internal water pipes in the laundry.

The body corporate claims Toplace and its subsidiary Parariver Pty Ltd failed in their “duty of care” to ensure the buildings were compliant and fit for use and argue owners deserve to be awarded the costs suffered to identify the alleged problems and any rectification work needed.

The statement claims the body corporate could not inspect the common property before becoming the registered proprietor of the building and therefore could not take steps to "protect itself" from the existence of the defective work.

The court has extended the time for the parties to enter into an informal settlement process to June 25, 2021, with the next hearing set down in the Supreme Court in early July.

The company, directed by prominent developer Jean Nassif, is also behind several significant projects currently in the pipeline, including the $250 million Box Hill City Centre redevelopment and at least four other large proposals across Parramatta, Zetland and Mascot.

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