Developers have been given orders to repair severe defects in apartment buildings and townhouses, as the NSW Building Commissioner indicates he will use his greatest powers to eliminate bad work in the building industry.

Nearly six months after his powers came to be, commissioner David Chandler has released prohibition orders last week to developers of four buildings in Sydney and Forster, north of Newcastle, halting them from attaining occupation certificates until defects have been repaired.

They feature a 10-storey apartment building at Forster called The Cove, which came complete with defects in waterproofing and exterior cladding, and townhouses at 12 Beaconsfield Parade in Lindfield. The defects related to wall and bathroom tiles and waterproofing.

These orders come in the wake of a stop work situation by OandE Developments on a six-storey apartment project at 319 Liverpool Road in Strathfield last month because of severe structural defects.

Chandler deemed the Strathfield project one of the worst he’d seen, leading him to issue the stop-work order.

The prohibition orders rank among his most formidable powers, as they prevent developers or builders from settling apartments until all defects are repaired. This, he says, is in service to the consumer.

Chandler stated the directed effect of the increased orders was that people are starting to pay heed, and he said more notices would be issued in coming weeks.

Karen Stiles, executive officer of the non-profit Owners Corporation Network which represents apartment owners, said the prohibition orders would save owners financial, physical and emotional distress in an attempt to repair defects found later via defects.

Omar Abdul-Rahman, of OandE Developments, said he would meet the commissioner’s demands to repair his Strathfield project.

The Building Commissioner’s team has been paying heed to smaller developers and others that have had issues.

Chandler said he would be tough on builders who ignored details in design drawings, while monitoring engineers who signed off on inferior work.

The commissioner said he was glad certifiers were toughening up and rebelling against developers by refusing to sign off on projects if issues exist.

Developer Australia YMCI has also been asked to repair waterproofing problems and tile defects in its apartment building called the Ovation Quarter on Carter Street in Lidcombe near Sydney Olympic Park.

The owners of properties in Neutral Bay and Mascot have been commanded to repair serious defects in mechanical car-stacking systems that were being installed.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald