Apartment Owners suing Sydney Developer TOPLACE over dozens of ‘Defects’ in near new Parramatta Buildings

APARTMENT OWNERS SUING SYDNEY DEVELOPER TOPLACE OVER DOZENS OF ‘DEFECTS’ IN NEAR NEW PARRAMATTA BUILDINGS

The Body Corporate of Riviera Apartments shortly after settlement launched court action for 45 types of defects!

Including corroding concrete, acoustic, fire and life safety, hydraulic, electrical and mechanical matters

-general building defects like incorrectly installed doors, concrete wall panels, expansion joints as well as bathtubs, hand basins and toilets

-other defects claims relate to the installation of plasterboard walls, waterproofing of bathrooms and defective installation of internal water pipes in the laundry

READ MORE!

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-03/parramatta-apartment-owners-suing-sydney-developer/100185356?fbclid=IwAR2YP-41KOFeLxMA_-nBd3qZTrg1a5X9B1-5CU7bwa10h5d0eb-qIm4XKS0

Related article: Toplace is the same developer behind the $260 million Skyview towers complex in Castle Hill, currently under review.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-13/fair-traiding-finds-issues-at-major-sydney-apartment-development/100107048?fbclid=IwAR2XH_L29g0xV1O4S6je0jy2zhyehBnlOZmmB-8FRRUcGWHkZ631YuPbeJw

SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK FOR EARLIER REPORTS ON TOPLACE, JEAN NASSIF, SARKIS NASSIF

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Leichhardt’s 181 Apartment Complex Plan Rejected

The Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel knocked back the redevelopment proposal for 40-76 William Street by Anprisa Pty Ltd, associated with Edward Doueihi, founder and director of Ceerose.

DESPITE the panel’s rejection, managing director Edward Doueihi confirmed that the company intends to progress the existing design for the project through the Land & Environment Court process. (AKA the Developers Court.)

READ MORE!

SOURCE:

https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/developer-refused-181-apartment-development-leichhardt

WITH a track record like that of CEEROSE could it be that those in Leichhardt may have many more reasons to object to the development of this apartment complex in their midst?

SOME RELATED ARTICLES …

Sydney Couple Paid $450K for Mould-infested Flat

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4331510/Couple-paid-450-000-uninhabitable-mould-infested-flat.html

Developer Ceerose fined $300,000 over Worker’s Spinal Injuries

https://m.hcamag.com/hr-news/company-fined-300000-over-workers-spinal-injuries-243699.aspx

A Beacon for Residential Development in Sydney

(Search for this report;  however some residents don’t share this view. At 2019, and in the 3 years since handover, the Owners had experienced basement flooding!)

https://www.propertyobserver.com.au/forward-planning/investment-strategy/property-news-and-insights/84357-ceerose-says-sydney-apartment-sales-have-slowed.html?fbclid=IwAR1YQW_n7cG8tgqA4CE6ic7SNWEUY1gsBmroKlRi9xfOdtj98fHiqNq43RA

Ceerose become landlords after Sydney apartment sales slowdown

2018 the absence of foreign buyers had left it with unsold apartments.

https://www.propertyobserver.com.au/forward-planning/investment-strategy/property-news-and-insights/84357-ceerose-says-sydney-apartment-sales-have-slowed.html?fbclid=IwAR1YQW_n7cG8tgqA4CE6ic7SNWEUY1gsBmroKlRi9xfOdtj98fHiqNq43RA

Greaton’s St Leonards South for 232 apartments … Homes a Thing of the Past

Among Greaton’s Partners is Builder CEEROSE … a company that has had issues raised concerning complaints of flooding and defective materials and workmanship!

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/north-shore/greatons-st-leonards-south-plans-include-232-apartments/news-story/3a5abcda3e78eec52c15ea99d4749dcf

SYDNEY Building Mates have they Stitched Up Buyer?

DECODE … to remove or reverse standards it would seem?

‘The Great Australian Nightmare’ … after squirrelling away her pay cheques the lady put down a 10 percent deposit on an off-the-plan unit in the $52 million Peony Place development at Kellyville …

To discover the defects and demanded they be fixed or her deposit be refunded … the developer claimed the building was ticked off by a private certifier and would not budge!

-the private certifier was formerly part of Dix Gardner Group; which has had two certifiers banned

The developer, SHANGHAI-based BOILL Holding Group, enlisted local builder DECODE … it may be a good idea to note this and look out for other projects across Sydney … including the Lower North Shore!

A pre-settlement inspection revealed:

-the building did not comply with either the National Construction Code or Australian Standards

-the fire evacuation path and parking space did not meet minimum size requirements

-and there was insufficient drainage

OUGHT there not be immediate intervention by regulators when a Council confirms ‘considerable non-compliances’? 

WHY should home buyers be subjected to taking mounting legal action at their own expense?

NSW INC … cutting Red Tape and Deregulation … whose side are they on?

READ MORE!

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-building-nightmare-set-to-cost-maryam-her-life-savings-20210319-p57cb5.html

Work continues around the project on Gerbera Place, Kellyville.

IS there more to the new Building Reforms … than meets the eye?

THE NSW Building Commissioner will be able to issue stop work orders, order developers to rectify defective buildings and stop occupation certificates from being issued.

With three goals …

-the first to focus on the accreditation regime for designers

-the second to give insurers the confidence to ensure the work

-the third decennial liability insurance with 10 years coverage for defects for consumers

The new legislation has been described as complicated however, when companies contravene the legislation the directors and any involved in company management can be personally liable!  This may also be retrospective!

IT would seem due to community-wide awareness of the shoddy work of this Sector … with the word having gotten around … across the Globe … and the consequent pull-back that the TaskForce had to concede somewhat … and it could be this is as far as they have let the Commissioner get to …

Read more!

https://bit.ly/3gm4OLm

No photo description available.
CAAN Photo: development underway in Lindfield.

IS NSW INC going far enough to Stop Defective Development?

THIS Report in the SMH sounds good with the new NSW Building Commissioner, David Chandler having the power from 1 September 2020 to enter and inspect building sites, to prevent the issue of ‘occupation certificates’, and order work to be stopped!

However distraught home buyers/owners (*Constituents) have more to say about the system being stacked against them!!

A summary of their comments …

-the building commissioner should look at the ongoing issue of insurers fighting claims with the aim of wearing down claimants; the ongoing legal costs were going to exceed any forecast insurance payout; the payout has barely covered 50% of the real costs of remediation.

-deregulation and self regulation simply doesn’t work; Regulations exist for a reason

-the only real fix is to have truly independent supervising professional inspectors signing off at every stage of construction

-the introduction of self-certification by builders with final sign off by someone paid by the builder has always been dodgy.

-the use of substandard materials, bad building practices, mistakes and shortcuts have long been concealed by the time of final certification

-the buying off the plan system needs to be banned because the developers/builders can have millions in their pockets before they pick up a shovel and there is a wish to spend as little as possible of it on actual construction.

-will the shonky developers, builders and certifiers be named?  Future buyers need to know whose work to avoid

-the old Home Owner Warranty scheme should be applied to apartments; for the builder/developer to have enough money set aside for 5 years to cover defects

-nowadays they make huge profits shuffled to shelf companies and they are liable for nothing

-when a builder/developer goes broke they lose everything except their money

-is the ‘tough talk’ a NSW INC PR campaign to allow the industry to continue to build sub-par work at high profits (a 2-bed apartment costs $200,000 to build)

-will the list of dodgy developers/builders/certifiers be released publicly? Will on-going transparency reports be publicly made available?

-councils should be the only organisation to nominate certifiers

-what will happen when developers withdraw their political donations?

-could this NSW INC exercise be about restoring public interest in buying apartments?

-looks like it is about protecting the construction industry and investors rather than protecting home buyers from defective development

-when will criminal charges and gaol terms be imposed?

-why isn’t the government taken to task for privatising certification?

-now we have red tape + building defects + bankrupted home owners

READ MORE THEN SHARE!

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/signatures-for-sale-days-are-over-warns-sydney-s-new-building-commissioner-20200818-p55mur.html#comments

How long before NSW Home Owners unite to fight the Cladding Crisis?

Image may contain: sky and outdoor
CAAN Photo: Cladding material that may look like this in Meadowbank? Or it may appear to be more subtle?

CITY OF SYDNEY Homeowners are being hit with $25,000 bills to remove and replace combustible cladding

WHY are home owners in this predicament?

Wasn’t there a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry held into the regulation of building standards, and building quality?

Yes!  The reforms were designed to give homeowners who buy defective apartments an easier path to pursue damages.  A registration system and developers to be forced to comply with ‘declared’ building designs.

YET … the homeowner victims are being hit with the rectification bills?

DESPITE the final report to the NSW Government making a range of recommendations for flammable cladding including:

  • The need to disclose to potential buyers or renters when a building contains flammable cladding.
    .
  • That the NSW Government provide substantial funding for the rectification of buildings containing aluminium composite panels, and that these products be banned from the Australian market.
    .
  • That the funding the NSW Government provide for flammable cladding be proportionate to that of the Victorian Government’s $600 million.
    .
  • In circumstances where insurance has not provided a suitable solution to the flammable cladding issue, the NSW Government should take it upon itself to pay for the rectification of flammable cladding.

READ MORE from ‘NSW Parliament Report on Defects Crisis’

YET despite all of this … it is incredulous, isn’t it, that the perpetrators … those that own the housing development projects … continue, it seems, to get off ‘Scott free’?

… and NSW INC has now released a Second and Third Tranche of more Overdevelopment … and the Medium-Density Housing Code is to come into effect on 1 July 2020!!

Further this report, ‘It’s not fair: Sydney cladding crisis threatens to ‘crush families’ financially‘ reveals that NSW INC, it appears, due to decades of deregulation, have dodged a bullet because the new recommendations, it appears, are not retrospective!

View: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/it-s-not-fair-sydney-cladding-crisis-threatens-to-crush-families-financially-20200622-p554z8.html#comments

Image may contain: sky and outdoor
CAAN Photo: Or cladding material that may look like this?

A Certifier’s Response to … ‘The Certifier of the Tower deemed to be the Worst Development in Sydney is under Investigation!’

WE are all aware that there are some Certifiers who have worked in cahoots with dodgy developers, however, they should not all be tarred with the same brush!

CAAN shares this response from Steven to this article issued on CAAN about the Certifier under investigation regarding the high-rise development in Auburn.

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2020/06/18/the-certifier-of-the-tower-deemed-to-be-the-worst-development-in-sydney-is-under-investigation/?fbclid=IwAR2N1sYyW0CJEcuQrBCNVjibmHHa4lABPSjalDper5_benXKpdrsmFH7xBk

Steven wrote:

The issues at this site are not the Certifiers doing, they are the dodgy builder and his dodgy sub contractors doings. Being under investigation does not mean being guilty.

When is the Government going to focus on the developer/builder instead of over regulating the regulator?

Certifiers can get fines of up to 200K and be tarnished through the media whilst these inept developer/builders continually get away with the same ‘shit’, and aren’t subject to fines or reprimands.

CAAN:  We wrote in the text to our intro: ‘Was Mr Storer employed by the developer, and if so, did the developer exert pressure upon the Certifier to issue the occupation certificate?

Following which Merhis was able to get customers who had bought apartments off the plan to settle!

In which case it would seem the developer ought be under investigation!’

Steven:  It’s not so much a matter of whether the developers exert pressure on Certifiers or not because most times Certifiers don’t even deal with the developer directly and more so deal with the principle contractor/builder.

The big issue is unskilled labour and poor workmanship by tradies and builders working to stupid time frames and not quality controlling their trades.

It’s not the Certifiers role to ensure quality control and we get wrapped into these messes because certain tradies and builders don’t give an F!

You can do an online course and be a builder or PM in 12 months!

You don’t need a licence or any qualification to install fire doors, fire seals, build fire walls, fire rate floors, columns etc, etc

But yet there is an expectation that Certifiers should be responsible for these imb.ciles and their lack of knowledge. We are constantly fighting with tradies regarding these issues (which is not our role).

For your info, to be an A1 Certifier you need a minimum of 6 years study and 8-10 years in the industry.

Our minimum PI insurance policies are circa 200+ pa.

On the flip side, to install a fire door to your apartment, the tradie needs a chisel, a drill, a tool bag, no licence, qualifications or insurance!

Why and how do we have a system where this is permissible?

Why is it that this Certifier is likely to now get fined for poor workmanship by tradies and the builder? Yet the tradies probably won’t even know about it, and be currently installing the same shit on the next apartment.

You want to fix the problem, start fining and reprimanding builders and tradies for unskilled and poor workmanship, and watch the quality of work surprisingly increase!

NSW is going to be left with no Certifiers willing to work in residential apartments very soon. Already 70% of Certifiers refuse to touch it,  and in that 70% sits the top end of town.

This Certifier is being tarnished because the SMH just like every other news outlet thrives on shock media. Why don’t they focus on the builder and his tradies?

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The apartment block at 93 Auburn Road has significant building defects.
The apartment block at 93 Auburn Road has significant building defects.CREDIT:RHETT WYMAN

The Certifier of the Tower deemed to be the Worst Development in Sydney is under investigation

The apartment block at 93 Auburn Road has significant building defects.
The apartment block at 93 Auburn Road has significant building defects.CREDIT:RHETT WYMAN

Jason Storer, the Certifier who issued an interim occupation certificate for the Merhis Auburn Tower is under investigation. 

Was Mr Storer employed by the developer, and if so, did the developer exert pressure upon the Certifier to issue the occupation certificate?

Following which Merhis was able to get customers who had bought apartments off the plan to settle!

In which case it would seem the developer ought be under investigation!

MEANWHILE the Fair Trading investigation into Maurice Freixas who issued an occupation certificate for Peak Towers, the apartment building next to the Mascot Towers which the owners allege was the cause of the cracking in the Mascot Towers.

The Commissioner will be able to withhold occupation certificates so builders or developers will not be able to force buyers to settle on properties with defects.

If a buyer has taken a bank loan can they obtain insurance so that they are not forced in a predicament like this to either lose their deposit or buy and hope for the best?

Now that this development is under investigation what does that mean for the protection of the buyers investments?

READ MORE!

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/certifier-of-sydney-s-worst-tower-for-defects-under-investigation-20200614-p552ct.html

A 16-Storey Auburn Apartment Tower nominated as the Worst for Defects opening the way for an Industry Shake-Up

CAN you believe it … that this is the worst? …

When they are everywhere!

NO doubt David Chandler has seen as bad if not worse …

DID the Commissioner have to back off from referring those who it seems have been instrumental in planning law changes in NSW?

WE know they hold the reins with their annointed one from the Property Council in Canberra … he who wrote their policy before entering politics …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_Council_of_Australia

SERIOUSLY … how can the Commissioner cut through?

IS this about NSW INC appearing to clean up the industry?

Focusing on a 16-storey Auburn apartment building full of fire hazards and defects months after owners and tenants moved in … when Sydney Precincts are riddled with defects

WHY has NSW INC delayed the powers of the NSW Building Commissioner until 1 September?

THE Commissioner visited this development by Merhis in October last year … at the urging of Fire and Rescue NSW because only one of its two lifts worked and it failed to meet fire safety, structural, and waterproofing standards!

IS the delay due to give this Cohort time to address (to fudge) issues?  Because the Commissioner will be returning to this Merhis development on 1 September …

DESPITE this Merhis … not unlike his mates … describes the buildings as ‘architectural landmarks of the finest standard’…

HOWEVER, the Commissioner has managed to get the new laws passed whereby with developments less than 10 years old owners can now sue those responsible for the defects.

-occupation certificates can be withheld

A further three orders were issued by the council with concerns about construction integrity.  When the Commissioner had found a lift shaft so far out of plumb the installers were unable to find a vertical pathway for the lift.  A layer of concrete was removed to make the lift fit but they had to resort to installing a smaller lift!

Yet the builder/developer claimed that many were latent defects or caused by extreme weather events or damage by tenants …

READ MORE!

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-s-worst-apartment-tower-for-defects-forces-industry-shake-up-20200609-p550vi.html#comments

RELATED ARTICLE: https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2020/06/16/will-the-new-nsw-building-laws-make-apartment-living-safe-and-secure/?fbclid=IwAR3Nw0SCpLNTbvEMVvMZUzEARQgfaEdAscDFelv17zTlu6SjXo6eLXLCbVQ

The Auburn apartment tower the building commissioner has named as 'probably the worst' he has seen.
The Auburn apartment tower the building commissioner has named as ‘probably the worst’ he has seen. CREDIT:KATE GERAGHTY

WILL the ‘New’ NSW Building Laws make Apartment Living Safe and Secure?

New NSW building law could be a game changer for apartment safety

Photo: The Conversation: New NSW building law could be a game changer

WILL the ‘New’ NSW Building Laws make Apartment Living Safe & Secure?

UNTIL now … apartment owners have had numerous obstructions in their way to seek redress! They will now be able to launch claims over cladding, water proofing and fire safety defects!

Two bills were passed last week … expected to take effect on 1 September 2020!

-The Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2020

-The Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Bill 2020

At the heart of the legislation … the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service will be able to order the correction of ‘serious defects’ in residential apartments.

-such powers will apply up to 10 years after an occupation certificate was provided

-to ensure defects are rectified prior to residents occupation a prohibition order can be provided to delay an occupation certificate

With the power to order rectification after developments are completed and the statutory duty of care will attract attention across Australia!

This is at the core of private development and the quality of developments too often left wanting …

IF one takes a moment to observe many Tradies … sadly they are always in a hurry … chasing the $$ … if the client questions they are told ‘Don’t stress’.  Unfortunately all too often the job can be left done with little care (half-arsed) to move onto the next job … and the next …

WHERE did this attitude stem from? Often it seems in contempt?

APART from the lack of pride in their work what has contributed to this?

-the demise of TAFE

-the loss of apprenticeships

-the shortage of qualified trades people

-the importation of Visa workers whose training may be unknown!

THAT aside Tradies/Contractors command very high fees e.g. $198/200 an hour compared to the $30/$50 (or less) for the rest of us!

Put that in the context of a multi-storey apartment development …

HENCE the need for defects to be rectified prior to the issue of the occupation certificate.

-the contractors then remain under pressure under their contracts

HOWEVER it is the ‘Developer’s Project’ and the developer calls the shots including cost cutting …

Is this where the contempt stems from?

WHAT will happen now … with this Sector having it so good for so long?

Will developers resort to the appeal mechanism? And in turn the contractors, subbies, and others … will they resort to relief provisions in their contracts?

WHAT then for the apartment owners and tenants?

WILL NSW INC ensure the Regulator has the resources?

MEANWHILE there’s hope … because NSW Lawmakers it appears have the momentum to attain the reform needed!

READ MORE!

https://theconversation.com/new-nsw-building-law-could-be-a-game-changer-for-apartment-safety-140432

AND …

https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/housing-after-grenfell/blog/2020/06/new-rectification-powers-and-statutory-duty-care-nsw-game

New NSW building law could be a game changer for apartment safety
Photo: The Conversation; David Chandler OAM; NSW Building Commissioner