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The quality of new apartment buildings has been in the spotlight since residents of Mascot Towers in Sydney were forced to evacuate more than a week ago. It follows on from the emergency evacuation of the 3,000 residents of Opal Towers late last year after beams collapsed. Nicole Johnston from Deakin University has just released a report into building safety. She says that would-be owners often have no way of knowing if there are structural problems with their apartments. "Sometimes it doesn't matter how much due diligence you do, you won't know that these defects are coming," she said. Her report found poor waterproofing, unsafe cladding and fire risks were the most common problems. "The costs involved in going through those rectification works is so much more than it would have been if the job was done right in the first place," Dr Johnston said. "So the costs in relation to rectify the fix is exorbitant, and it's grossly unfair for the people having to pay." Key points: Apartment owners around Australia say they are being left to foot the bill for poor-quality construction John Grant's apartment building in Canberra has a defect bill estimated at $9 million Melbourne apartment owner Andy White says the Government needs to step in It follows on from the emergency evacuation of the 3,000 residents of Opal Towers late last year after beams collapsed.