19 Dec 2010

Auckland Council held liable for leaky homes

5:52 am on 19 December 2010

Auckland Council says it does not yet know how a court ruling on leaky homes will affect ratepayers.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by the former North Shore City Council against two Court of Appeal decisions that it was liable for loss caused by the negligent inspection of properties.

The liability will have to be picked up by the new Auckland Council.

A council spokesperson says its legal team is reading the judgment.

A lawyer representing leaky home owners on the North Shore says his clients are ecstatic at the Supreme Court decision.

Grant Shand of Grimshaw & Co says the ruling involved two test cases which have significance for everyone in New Zealand dealing with leaky home issues.

Mr Shand says the appeals were the last defence for councils and all owners of such homes will now have a case against their council if it failed to identify construction problems.

Several major councils have accepted a deal offered by the Government to share half of the repair costs to homeowners.