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  • Samantha Reece

Australian Apartment Advocacy hits back at ABC’s building crisis claims

Australian Apartment Advocacy (AAA) has hit back at claims made on the ABC’s 4 Corners program that residential apartments are in a “building crisis”.  The story focused on several buildings that were showing defects in light of a recent Deakin University study which examined 200 insurance claims.

Ms Reece, Director of AAA stated that to infer that all apartment buildings were possibly going to have the same degree of defects as the Opal or Mascot Towers was simply false.

“The ABC report noted that one of the builders responsible for building defects in their report was already known to the Building Commission.  This means that this builder was already under investigation and as such any prospective buyer who did their due diligence would have seen this was the case and could have avoided the company and the development,” Ms Reece said.

“There are many reliable and reputable developers and builders within the apartment sector and to tar all developers with the same brush, is unfair and misleading.

“10 million Australians living in apartments nationally, and if there was a legitimate crisis with the quality of built form, there would be significantly greater outrage, much more so than we are currently witnessing.”

Recent AAA research from over 3300 apartment owners nationally showed an 86% satisfaction rate with their apartment and that 70% of owners recommended apartment living as a housing choice.  

However, Ms Reece believes that the report did highlight the need for the NSW State Government to hold builders accountable for any development over three stories. 

“There is definitely some reform needed with consumer protection at a Government level.  And on an individual level, buyers should ensure they check out the builder and see if there is any pending legal action, as this is a red flag to avoid this supplier and their construction projects”, Ms Reece added.

“While 1% of apartments constructed may show some degree of significant building defects, the focus should be on taking precautions and identifying faults and acting sooner, rather than later. 

“Contrary to the ABC report this is not a crisis, but rather an anomaly which will now result in greater diligence from government and buyers and ultimately developers, who now need to rebuild trust and demonstrate that they are focused on quality.”

The report also indicated the issues associated with private building inspectors that can be engaged by the Developer, hence calling into question the impartiality of this system. 

For the 4 Corners story click here.

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