Building Cladding: What you NEED to know! - Melbourne Conveyancing News

More and more we are seeing reviews on cladding materials affixed to building deemed to be a fire hazard, and with looming restoration bills in mind properties are being released to market with Melbourne Conveyancing Purchasers blissfully unaware.

This is is especially problematic given that First Home and Younger buyers are more likely to buy in apartment buildings and also be unaware of how to accurately read and interpret Melbourne Conveyancing disclosure documents where these works have been tabled but not yet struck.

A Melbourne apartment block in 2014 went up in flames and resulted in a 24 million dollar lawsuit against the builder, who is responsible for a number of other high rise buildings in the CBD with the same flammable composite cladding.


What is the danger?

The harrowing scenes from the grenfell tower disaster that claimed 72 lives is permanently etched into the minds of people globally, and its no wonder why.

grenfel fire.jpg

The cladding recently installed to the entire exterior of the building was so flammable that within half and hour of a small fire from a electrical fault sparing from a fridge within one apartment, the entire building was engulfed.

As the heat from flame traveled upwards it acted as a fire vacuum inferno rapidly spiraling out of control.

The dangers have greater effect in high rise buildings in built up areas where wind tunnels would spread fire in minuets.

How do I identify if a property is affected by

In most cases these cladding have been used by builders in high rise urban developments, and have been identified by local councils. Inspectors have been conducting inspections on properties and serving a legal notice against thew owners corporation requiring the removal of such cladding usually by a fixed date.

This would usually be disclosed by an owners corporation manger within a form 151 owners corporation certificate and tabled for discussion at an AGM, or in serious cases may have had a special meeting specifically to address the works to be done and vote on works to be completed.

In these cases after works have been commenced a special levy is imposed to cover the costs of the works the owners corporation has incurred, which are typically significant bills.

However, where works have been discussed but the levy not yet raised a owner who knows this large bill is about to be imposed may try to sell the property and ‘cut and run’ prior to the fee being struck. Purchasers need to be savvy and have their Melbourne Conveyancing documents checked and obtain specific advice.

Its also prudent to make inquiries with the manager for the building, and if the property has been inspected in light of these revelations.

Who pays for the removal/restoration works

In Melbourne Conveyancing matters the burden for payment is that the Purchaser is responsible for any fee, levy, or tax struck after the date of contract with the exception of usual outgoing which are adjusted proportionally between the parties as a part of settlement.