11 Jun 2014

Advocate questions leaky home ruling

9:27 am on 11 June 2014

An advocate for homeowners says there is still uncertainty surrounding the precedent for leaky homes set by a new Supreme Court ruling.

The court ruled on Tuesday that Auckland couple John and Helen Osborne should be allowed to seek compensation from Auckland Council, which issued their home's compliance certificate.

Previously they had been denied because their claim was lodged more than 10 years after construction of the home had finished.

Similar claims, numbering 369, have also failed.

According to the court's decision, the statutory timeframe of 10 years should run from when compliance certificates are issued.

The Home Owners and Buyers Association said a significant question remains over whether people who have already had their claims thrown out can reopen them.

And a lawyer who has secured millions of dollars for leaky-home owners says a 10-year limit for filing claims for compensation has never been fair.

Sarah Wroe who acts for the firm Martelli McKegg, says it is hoping to take another look at claims it knows were denied.

"You could be a day late in making your aplication and that can reduce a $400,000 claim to zero, and that's just devastating for the average kiwi family."