House must be repaired or demolished after major repairs done without building consent video

STACY SQUIRES/Stuff.co.nz

"There is actually no support, the whole middle of the building is quite unsupported for quite a number of metres," Scott Hardwick says of his quake-damaged Lyttelton house.

Repair Nightmares explores Canterbury's failed earthquake repairs issue. The fifth in the series looks at a new foundation with no building consent.

Sally Gaw and Scott Hardwick were alarmed when contractors pulled the boxing off the new concrete foundation under their house.

It seemed to them that it did not support a main wall, and now the Christchurch City Council wants something done about the unconsented repair.

Home owners Sally Gaw and Scott Hardwick $1370 in fines if issues with the repair to their Lyttelton home are not ...
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Home owners Sally Gaw and Scott Hardwick $1370 in fines if issues with the repair to their Lyttelton home are not resolved by the end of the year.

Both the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes damaged Hardwick and Gaw's Lyttelton property, but they were able to keep living in the house.

READ MORE:
* Couple's repairs seemed fast, then started going wrong
The 'six-week' earthquake repair, five years later
Insurance battle for leaky swimming pool, cracked driveway, and voided ground
Repair nightmares: Can property buyers trust earthquake repair sign-offs?
Canterbury earthquake repair issues increasing for insurance ombudsman

In 2014, the couple moved to a new house and rented the damaged property to a friend, who stayed there until the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and contractor Fletcher EQR began repair work in August 2015.

The couple called a halt to the work after becoming concerned with the state of the repairs.

The council inspected the property in August last year and issued a notice in November saying the foundation needed a certificate of acceptance, or it needed to be demolished or repaired by December 23.

The foundation is still there, and does not have a certificate of acceptance.

Sally Gaw and Scott Hardwick must demolish or repair their home by December after initial repairs were done without a ...
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Sally Gaw and Scott Hardwick must demolish or repair their home by December after initial repairs were done without a consent.

"We're still paying the mortgage on this house without any rental income," Gaw said.

Ad Feedback

EQC general manager of customer and claims Trish Keith admitted an error was made when contractors laid part of the concrete pad at the property without obtaining a building consent.

The council's notice to fix the issue carried the potential for $1370 in fines if the owners or contractors did not take action before the December deadline.

"We have advised the Christchurch City Council of this issue and we do not expect that any fines will be issued to the customers," Keith said.

EQC intended to comply with the notice and would make a decision on the compliance of the concrete pad while resolving the claim.

EQC was discussing the next steps with Gaw and Hardwick, reviewing engineering and building reports, and agreeing on the appropriate costs for demolishing and reinstating the house, she said.

The couple say they just want to replace what was there before the earthquakes.
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

The couple say they just want to replace what was there before the earthquakes.

Gaw said the couple had hired a quantity surveyor, who said EQC's costing estimates were not even close to what it would cost to rebuild.

"We're very aware it's an old house. It's an old Lyttelton house, and so they do have interesting features to them.

"We're definitely not trying to replace this with more than what was here, but we do need to be able to replace what we had . . . particularly as this is just down to incompetence. There was no reason not to get a building consent; we would have waited for a building consent."

Gaw said EQC would not cover lost rent, and had not covered the majority of the couple's expert fees.

"Our next step is an appointment with a barrister."

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback