20 Dec 2010

Minister urges leaky home owners not to go through courts

10:51 am on 20 December 2010

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson warns owners of leaky home that it may be more costly to go through the courts, than through the Government assistance scheme in order to get their homes repaired.

The court ruled on Friday decided that the former the North Shore City Council is responsible for fixing two apartment buildings there. North Shore is now part of the new Auckland Council which came into being on 1 November.

Despite the ruling, Mr Williamson is urging leaky home owners to go through the Government scheme and not the courts.

Mr Williamson says he knows of a number of people who went through the courts and won, but later felt as though they had lost once they realised how expensive the legal bills were.

He told Morning Report that no money is spent on lawyers' fees under the Government scheme.

Mr Williamson said that under the assistance scheme the Government and local council will pay half the cost of fixing a leaky home.

Earlier, he said the Supreme Court ruling addresses just some of the legal aspects relating to leaky buildings.

Tribunal view

An adjudicator for the Weathertight Homes Tribunal also says owners of leaky homes may be better off in a lot of cases, going through the Government scheme rather than the courts for compensation.

John Green says that if the financial package allows owners to fix their homes promptly and avoid a lot of the stress of going through the courts, that may be the better option for a lot of people.