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Cowboys targeting leaky home owners

Leaky home owners are being warned to watch out for cowboys looking to make a quick buck from over-priced repair work, says the NZ Building Industry Federation.

Friday, November 13th 2009, 7:00AM 1 Comment

by The Landlord

Home owners, local authorities and the government are being warned by the federation to take special care to avoid overblown estimates of the extent of problems and costs associated with the repair of residential structures which have leaks identified.

The warning comes after increasing cases within the building industry of excessive repair work being recommended at costs far beyond that which should be considered reasonable.

"This is an area ripe for hit-and-run cowboy activities," says chief executive Bruce Kohn, especially since the announcement last week that home owners will have to foot almost two thirds of the repair bill.

"Many unfortunate home owners who have identified a leak in the properties are elderly, young or have little expert knowledge. They are reliant on sound advice from experts and need to ensure that those they turn to are well qualified for the task and have a proven track record."

Kohn says, similarly, local authorities and the government need to be sure that the scale and expense of repair work is justified when authorising remedial payouts.

The industry also warns that detection of a leak in a house or apartment block does not automatically mean there should be a complete re-cladding or structural rebuild of the property.

"Potential for major structural damage to have already occurred should not be underestimated. But nor should the prospect be dismissed that a leak is a defect that can quickly be remedied at comparatively low cost," Kohn says.

The federation recommends checking with the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors who carry out inspections and can probe identified leaks. Reputable builders can be found through the Registered Master Builders' Federation or the Certified Builders' Association of New Zealand.

Last week it was announced the government would only compensate leaky home owners with 10% of the repair cost, leaving owners footing 64% of the repair bill, with the other 26% being subsidised by local councils.

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Comments from our readers

On 17 November 2009 at 7:53 pm bevan philip said:
You dont need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. As there is no regulation on who does the repair work and at what cost even when the courts decide. The repair costs are so inflated it is a joke. I still can not believe that building surveyors who have no actual building experience are at the forefront of the leaky building issues and what they say in court stands.The only reason these surveyors are in this area is because they saw an opening in the beginning and took advantage of this to make alot of money. Now what happens is these surveyors do a report what they say in that report stands and that sucks. The people that should be invloved with leaky building issues should be experienced tradesmen who know how to build a house not a surveyor.
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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.45 7.05 6.85
ANZ 8.64 ▼7.84 ▼7.39 ▼7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
ANZ Good Energy - - - 1.00
ANZ Special - ▼7.24 ▼6.79 ▼6.65
ASB Bank 8.64 ▼7.29 ▼6.85 6.65
ASB Better Homes Top Up - - - 1.00
Avanti Finance 9.15 - - -
Basecorp Finance 9.60 - - -
Bluestone 9.24 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Classic - 7.29 6.85 6.65
BNZ - Green Home Loan top-ups - - - 1.00
BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 8.69 7.89 7.45 7.25
BNZ - TotalMoney 8.69 - - -
CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - ▼7.09 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 ▼7.29 6.89 6.75
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 ▼7.79 7.39 7.25
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
First Credit Union Standard 8.50 7.99 7.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99 6.69 6.45 6.19
Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.85 6.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Kainga Ora 8.64 7.79 7.59 7.29
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 8.35 7.89 7.65
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 7.35 6.89 6.75
Liberty 8.59 8.69 8.79 8.94
Nelson Building Society 9.00 7.90 7.39 -
Pepper Money Advantage 10.49 - - -
Pepper Money Easy 8.69 - - -
Pepper Money Essential 8.29 - - -
Resimac - LVR < 80% 8.84 8.30 7.89 7.69
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac - LVR < 90% 9.84 9.30 8.89 8.69
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Alt Doc) - - 8.99 -
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Full Doc) - - 9.49 -
SBS Bank 8.74 7.95 7.45 7.29
SBS Bank Special - 7.45 6.95 6.79
SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19 7.05 - -
SBS FirstHome Combo - - - -
SBS Unwind reverse equity 9.95 - - -
Select Home Loans 9.24 - - -
TSB Bank 9.44 8.19 7.55 7.55
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 8.64 7.39 6.75 6.75
Unity 8.64 6.99 6.85 -
Unity First Home Buyer special - - 6.45 -
Wairarapa Building Society 8.60 7.15 6.85 -
Westpac 8.64 7.89 7.49 7.25
Westpac Choices Everyday 8.74 - - -
Westpac Offset 8.64 - - -
Westpac Special - 7.29 6.89 6.65
Median 8.64 7.45 7.37 6.77

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