10 Mar 2011

Leaky home loans not automatic, banks warn

9:07 pm on 10 March 2011

The Banking Association is warning owners of leaky homes that they will not necessarily be entitled to a loan to cover repairs if they sign up to the government package soon to be on offer.

Under the package, the Government would pick up 25% of the cost - as would local authorities in cases where they signed off the work.

The homeowner would be liable for the rest.

When the package was announced, the Government said it would work with banks if people needed a loan to cover their half of the cost.

But Banking Association chief executive Sarah Mehrtens told a parliamentary select committee on Thursday that it is important for people to realise they will still have to meet usual credit criteria.

Builders wary of work

The Certified Builders' Association told the select committee there are builders who would rather turn down work fixing leaky homes than run the risk of being sued.

Chief executive Derek Baxter said builders are concerned about being drawn into legal disputes relating to the original work, as it is very expensive to prove they were not responsible.

Mr Baxter says some would rather stay home and go broke, rather than work on the houses.