NSW building commission issues final call for owners to register for initiative targeting residential defects
Project Intervene helps owners corporations rectify serious defects, focusing on common property issues like waterproofing, fire safety, and structural systems. Image: Canva.
  • NSW Building Commission urges owners-occupiers to register for initiative.
  • Over 150 buildings join, with developers covering costs for serious defect rectification.
  • Program deadline is 30 November 2023.

The New South Wales (NSW) Building Commission recently released a call urging owner-occupiers to register for the State Government’s initiative targeting severe defects in recently completed and occupied residential apartment buildings before time runs out.

Holding errant developers accountable

Over 150 buildings have registered with Project Intervene, which assists owners corporations through rectifying serious defects in common property areas of eligible buildings.

This is done without any expenses to owners corporations and without the need to go to court. Instead, the developer or builder pays for remedial works and other costs associated with the program.

“Serious defects within the common property create a significant financial and emotional toll, and owners corporations are often left with years of expensive litigation without any rectification of the defects,” said NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler.

Specifically, the project focuses on serious defects in the common property associated with waterproofing, fire safety systems, structural systems and building services.

Helping owner-occupiers save time and money

Owners corporations spend around $331,829 per building when attempting to fix serious defects.

Furthermore, research from 2021 found that 39% of buildings possessed one or more serious defects in the common property. Half of these defects have been left unresolved.

Upon entering the program, Project Intervene can facilitate a consensus on the serious defect list, uphold conformity, and ensure timely completion. The alternative is taking legal action in court, which can be a lengthy process involving years, exorbitant legal fees, and no satisfactory outcomes.

“From facilitating agreements on the list of serious defects to ensuring the remediation work is compliant and delivered on time, Project Intervene provides support to owners corporations and developers,” Chandler added.

Program eligibility

To be eligible for the initiative, residential apartments must be four storeys or more and have an occupation certificate dispensed within the past decade. Moreover, there must be an active developer that can respond to remediation responsibilities.

The deadline for enrolment is 30 November 2023, and it can be done on the NSW Government website.

After the deadline has lapsed, the Building Commission will administer powers granted under the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (RAB Act) through the standard complaint handling procedure.

The RAB Act endows the NSW Building Commission with powers to compel developers or builders to fix non-compliant building work.

“I would encourage owners corporations wanting to register for Project Intervene to act now as the 30 November 2023 deadline is fast approaching,” Chandler said.

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