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Leaky building class action court-bound

There is still time for investors who have defective Harditex and Titanboard clad properties to join a leaky building class action which is heading to court.

Monday, October 17th 2016, 1:00PM

by Miriam Bell

The High Court has just granted a group of leaky building owners with properties clad in Harditex and Titanboard permission to proceed with a representative action against James Hardie.

An opt-in period for those who have not already issued proceedings has also been secured.

The group’s lawyer, Dan Parker, said this might be the last chance for other affected property owners wanting compensation to get involved.

There was real urgency for those yet to opt-in as timeframes were very tight, he said.

“Opt-in periods range from 10, four and two weeks from the judgment date depending on the representative claim so there is a real urgency for those yet to opt in to get on board.”

The claims allege that James Hardie was negligent in its design, manufacture and supply of the Harditex and Titanboard cladding systems.

James Hardie denies the allegations.

There are already 80 property owners - 19 for the Titan Board claim and over 60 for the Harditex claim – involved in the legal proceedings.

The repair bills involved could total $25 million.

But thousands of properties were built using Harditex and or Titanboard through the 1990s and early 2000s.

For this reason, Parker said that owners of buildings constructed since 1987 using Harditex or Titanboard should get in touch to see whether they may be eligible to join the claim.

Experts can be arranged to investigate whether the materials in question have been used and whether damage has resulted, he said.

“It’s not too late to get involved in this cladding class action but time is tight and this may be the last chance for affected owners to pursue legal action for recovery of their losses.”

The group is pooling resources to pay for the class action, which means there is no need for separate litigation funding.

A Supreme Court ruling in July this year means that claims relating to defective building products can be argued, and are not subject to the Building Act’s 10-year limitation.

This ruling paved the way for these claims to proceed.

A separate $250 million leaky building class action claim was filed in the Auckland High Court, by Adina Thorn Lawyers, in December last year.

A court hearing to determine whether that claim can also proceed is scheduled for November.

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AIA 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
ANZ 5.54 5.15 5.85 6.15
ANZ Blueprint to Build 2.78 - - -
ANZ Special - 4.55 5.25 5.55
ASB Bank 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
Avanti Finance 5.45 - - -
Basecorp Finance 6.45 - - -
Bluestone 5.29 7.49 7.59 -
BNZ - Classic - 4.55 5.25 5.45
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.55 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.55 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.55 5.35 5.94 5.99
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.55 - - -
CFML Loans ▲6.45 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 5.40 6.14 6.40
China Construction Bank Special - 4.45 5.19 5.45
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 4.70 5.20 -
Heartland Bank - Online 4.00 3.85 4.70 4.84
Heretaunga Building Society 5.95 4.80 5.50 -
HSBC Premier 5.49 4.39 5.15 5.39
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.25 ▲4.29 ▲5.09 ▲5.35
Kainga Ora ▲5.43 ▲4.57 ▲5.58 ▲5.85
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 5.00 5.55 6.19 6.39
Kiwibank - Offset 5.00 - - -
Kiwibank Special 5.00 4.55 5.19 5.39
Liberty 4.84 - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.95 4.95 5.85 -
Pepper Essential 3.44 - - -
Resimac 4.59 5.60 6.16 6.29
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank 5.29 4.69 5.35 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 4.19 4.85 4.99
Select Home Loans 4.09 4.29 4.86 5.09
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - ▲4.19 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.45 ▲4.29 5.19 5.45
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.45 ▲4.79 5.69 5.95
TSB Bank 5.59 ▼5.14 6.05 6.15
TSB Special 4.79 ▼4.34 5.25 5.35
Unity 5.65 ▲4.80 ▲5.50 -
Wairarapa Building Society 5.24 4.55 5.20 -
Westpac 5.54 5.09 5.79 6.09
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac - Offset 5.54 - - -
Westpac Special - 4.49 5.19 5.49
Median 5.45 4.55 5.25 5.52

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