Multi-million dollar apartment repairs are being poorly handled by "mum and dad" residents' committees out of their depth, a national homeowners group says.
Problems with body corporates that manage common property, and the overall apartment complex, are as widespread as leaky building issues, New Zealand Homeowners and Buyers Association chief executive Roger Levie says.
Mr Levie says enthusiastic but inexperienced body corporates can be dealing with $10 to $15 million repairs.
Large sums can be spent going nowhere to correctly fix problems, he says.
The association has been involved unravelling five years of mismanagement because some body corporates don't have the skills to manage major projects, Mr Levie says.
He is calling on the Auckland Council to help address apartment governance issues because its 30 year plan encourages even greater apartment style living.
About 330,000 new homes may be needed over that period.
Albany and Takapuna are among areas earmarked for high rise and areas like Browns Bay, Highbury and Milford for medium to low rise.
Along with keeping an eye on future development issues, the association is already dealing with leaky home problems including North Shore areas like Albany.
Anywhere that saw significant development in the late 1980s to 2000s is prone to problems, he says.
One of things catching apartment buyers out is that they focus on their individual unit but not the complex itself that they also contribute financially towards, Mr Levie says.
Body corporates are required to provide a 10 year maintenance plan that can give potential buyers an indication of the future costs they could face.
Unfortunately superficial reports are being prepared, sometimes by the body corporate, because the Unit Titles Act doesn't specify the level of professional expertise required, he says.
The homeowners association has also started a campaign reminding people of the 10 year limitation on taking legal action over leaky home problems.
"It's very prudent to make sure you don't have a problem," Mr Levie says.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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