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cracks appearing

Posted: 14 Jul 2010 01:45
by northernbelle

We have had our apartment for almost 5 years. In that time we have had on-going small areas of damp patches inside with the plaster coming away. We made the developer aware of it as soon as it appeared in the first year and he had it "repaired" in as much as he had the area replastered. It has appeared again but also there are cracks appearing on the outside of the buildings. We are in a complex of 8 apartments and all have had similar problems. One owner has just been told that "this time" she must pay for any more repairs!!! We haven't got our title deeds yet, but have been told they are "imminent". None of the owners are happy with the developer and feel he is after money at every opportunity. The exterior paint used on the building is fading and generally looking drab and unmanaged. We pay general maintenance fees to cover the pool and communal area, plant feeding etc. We were only asked to pay building maintenance fees starting in 2008 and have been informed that we don't have enough to use on repainting the complex.

We feel that our complex has been built with inferior materials and poor workmanship. We have tried approaching the developer about the ongoing damage, but he blames us for not airing the apartments or closing off the drains?? whatever that means. We personally have a couple open up and air our apartment on a regular basis, but this hasn't made any difference to us or to the ones that have'nt.

I read that the developer has a lifetime liability for structural defects. What kind of evidence would we need to prove structual defect, as the developer will obviously disagree with any suggestion that he will be liable!!
I would appreciate any advice.

Re: cracks appearing

Posted: 15 Jul 2010 14:29
by Nigel Howarth
Hi northernbelle and welcome to the forum,

It sounds to me as if your apartments are suffering from 'routine defects'. Unless stated otherwise in your contract of sale, you will have a guarantee for defects for a period of 12 months from the date of the delivery of the property - and I see that your developer has 'repaired' those.

There's an article in my magazine that describes routine and structural defects at ... s/id=00101 .

If you believe that the apartment is suffering from structural defects, you will need to have a structural survey carried out by a surveyor and a report prepared on its condition.

If the surveyor's report concludes that there are structural problems, then you can pursue the developer to carry out the repairs - through the Courts if necessary.


Re: cracks appearing

Posted: 16 Jul 2010 00:03
by northernbelle
Hello Nigel and thankyou for your welcome and reply,

Yes, the initial problem we had was "plastered over" in the early days, but we feel the root of the problem wasn't investigated therefor the problem is now "on-going" as it has never been resolved properly.

We do accept settlment cracks to appear in new buildings, but to have cracks appear on the outside 5 year later doesn't seem right.

Two of the owners contacted their insurance company to see if they could claim on their insurance for the inside damage so they sent two representatives out to have a look at it. They took photos and made a report out to say the building had been built with inferior materials and poor workmanship.

Well, surprise, surprise the developer is passing the blame on to the owners!

Are there any "reputable" surveyors over there who would give an unbiased report and can you give me an idea what we will be charged for such a report?


Re: cracks appearing

Posted: 16 Jul 2010 13:34
by Nigel Howarth
Hi Belle,

I've sent you a 'PM' with a name and contact details.


Re: cracks appearing

Posted: 20 Jul 2010 11:35
by Pantheman
Structural guarantees vary from developer to developer and usually added the the sale contract. It was an industry standard that the developer will give a 10 year structural guarantee, but I have seen contracts where this period is consierably less.

Surface cracks, peeling paint, damp patch, I am not so sure come under the 'structural' bit.

To be honest, I am not sure even the develop knows what he means by structural other than the building falling down.

This clause is never define, and I haven't seen any contract or lawyer as for its definition. perhaps food for thought!

Good luck all the same.