29 Sep 2014

Bank option for owners of leaky homes

3:16 pm on 29 September 2014

The banking industry has come up with a plan to help homeowners in multi-unit housing complexes to borrow money to fix their leaky buildings.

The financing option is available to the customers of any New Zealand retail bank.

New Zealand Bankers' Association chief executive Kirk Hope said it was a significant breakthrough for affected unit owners.

Owners use a third party escrow account to fund the repairs.

"The escrow funds may be made up of bank loans and the owner's own deposits," he said.

Mr Hope said the account was established under an escrow deed is entered into by the body corporate.

"What that means is that rather than just giving their money to the body corporate which was one of the key hurdles for lenders, the money goes into an independent party, that is the escrow agent's account, and that is chosen by the body corporate.

"That money is then paid out to fund the repairs in due course."

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