Building Defects

Building Defects

As we hear more from the government about the need to increase housing supply, I welcome continued work to improve the quality of newly constructed homes. Poor building practices and lack of oversight of new apartments over the last two decades have forced owners to pay significant special levies to fix defects, undermining confidence in the industry. But recent reforms have turned things around with a powerful building commissioner, better regulation of industry participants and a defects bond paid by builders.

Last week in Parliament, I supported new laws to prevent builders from ‘phoenixing’ their companies. Phoenixing is where a builder bankrupts their company to avoid liability for defects while transferring assets to and continuing to practice under another company. Working with the Owners Corporation Network, I asked for even tighter rules to prevent dodgy players continuing to work in the industry and the minister promised to consult on additional reform.

The bill also included provisions to facilitate the introduction of the decennial (10 year) liability insurance scheme. Builders don’t need insurance for their work on buildings four storeys or more, they only have to pay the defects bond. Insurance is superior because it is not limited by cost and covers a longer period. I hope the scheme will grow and improve consumer safeguards.

My speech > HERE.

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