sam reece
Sam Reece is the head of the advocacy group. Image Supplied.
  • Australian Apartment Advocacy have launched a free kit
  • Kit is designed to better inform buyers
  • Calls for all state and territories to provide the free resource

The Australian Apartment Advocacy, a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to protect the consumer protection rights of the 2.5 million apartments owners in Australia, has launched a free kit to prospective apartment buyers.

The group’s head, Sam Reece, had the idea of launching the kit after being shocked by the lack of resources available to prospective buyers. She believes the kit will protect consumers from operators that over-promise and under-deliver with their builds.

“Apartment buyers have no way of knowing whether they are buying from a gold star company or dodgy brothers,” says Ms Reece.

“Unlike buying a home, when there is a defect in an apartment it can have huge ramifications for the entire block and it involves a number of parties including the certifier, developer, builder, strata manager, body corporate and the owners themselves to work proactively.”

Sam Reece, Australian Apartment Advocacy

The kit has been prepared with the support of accredited surveyors, builders, structural engineers, insurers and lawyers.

She has called upon all states and territories to support the education kit, pointing out that defects in apartments are not an isolated issue.

“High rise defects are a problem in every state and territory, it’s not unique to one state,” she says.

“And it’s not isolated to one type or one part of the buildings – defects exist across a range of areas of apartment construction across the board.”

Areas addressed in the kit include identifying potential defects more easily, building consumer confidence, greater understanding of life cycles and a deeper understanding of the purchasing process – such as strata fees and complaints.

Ms Recce says the apartment sector is potentially facing a crisis unless steps are taken to enforce quality builds. Even some within the industry, such as luxury developer Gary Dempsey, have called for more regulation to facilitate greater transparency.

“Our research shows if a buyer has defects in an apartment, their chances of buying another apartment drops 30% and with only 14% of people saying they’d buy off the plan in the first place,  consumer confidence is at crisis levels.

“These buyers must have confidence that their apartment will last the legacy and it will retain its value and be a safe home and the kit is the first step in helping buyers make the right choices.”

According to Ms Reece, 80,000 apartments are set to be delivered into the market within the next four years across Australia.

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For more information regarding the kit, visit the Apartment Advocacy Group website.

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