Quick leak-fix goes against flow

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 05:00 10/06/2014
Brett Hannah
SUCCESS: Apartment dweller Brett Hannah was ’’stressed’’ to learn his home leaked but surprised at how smoothly things went to get it up to scratch.

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Shocked homeowner Brett Hannah thought he had a rough road of regulations and procedures ahead when he found out his apartment was leaking.

The New Lynn man had heard all the horror stories around the leaky homes crisis leaving people out of pocket with nowhere to live and years of court action to contend with.

So he was surprised when his case was resolved in just over a year.

Hannah, 51, and his late mother Nola bought apartments next door to one another in the Crown Lynn Rd complex in 2005.

An initial LIM report showed the dwelling was sound but a change in council regulations later showed it was not up to scratch.

Mother and son were "stressed" when the apartments were deemed leaky two years later.

Independent property valuation company Prendos was the bearer of bad news.

Residents paid for tests that showed exterior cladding had watertightness issues. Rust was found on the steel girders, wood in the super structure was untreated and the balconies had to be rebuilt.

"It was a huge disappointment but we weren't going to sit around and be depressed," Hannah says.

"We had to sort it out."

The body corporate took a weather-tightness claim to court and won with Auckland council paying compensation.

Hannah was pleasantly surprised when, after 15 months and without residents being evacuated, the problems were fixed.

Timber was treated, removed and replaced, walls were re-lined and bricks laid in a cavity system for ventilation.

Centurion Management Services senior body corporate manager Russell Ballantyne says owners now have a building in really good condition.

"It could have been a disaster with assets deteriorating if owners ever wanted to sell.

"But it's been bought up to standard and is in new condition. It's had a complete make over," he says.

The 73-room apartment block was built in 2003 by Tony Tay Developments which is no longer operating.

LEAKY HOMES:

 ● An ongoing construction and legal crisis in a number of timber framed buildings built between 1994 and 2005  

● The problem primarily consists of timber frame decay which in extreme cases made buildings structurally unsound

● Some buildings became unhealthy to live in due to mould and spores in the damp timber 

● Nationwide repairs and replacement costs were estimated at more than $11 billion in 2009.

WARNING SIGNS:

● Narrow eaves or no eaves at all 

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● Exposed sites  

● Plaster or fibre cement cladding 

● Complicated designs including lots of corners and junctions where water could get in 

● Tiled balconies.

- Western Leader

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