Australia’s homeowners have been forced to fork out $10.5 billion in the last 10 years to address building defects, with the average apartment defect bill hitting $6,434, new research reveals.
And while the average bills were less than $10,000, 4 per cent of apartment owners have had to cough up more than $50,000 to address issues.
While the sum is significant, Owners Corporation Network (OCN) executive officer Karen Stiles believes the average bill quoted by Mozo is conservative and that owners often face much higher fees. And, she added, there are very few apartment owner protections.
“There are almost zero protections for apartment purchases. You've got more protection buying a $10 toaster than you do buying a $1 million apartment, quite frankly,” she told Yahoo Finance.
The OCN recommends buyers avoid purchasing property off the plan or buying in buildings with more than four storeys, as those have no home-owners’ warranty insurance. She said buyers should also think hard about purchasing apartments in buildings constructed in the last 10 years.
“The total cost [of building defects] is incomprehensible in terms of the emotional, financial and physical cost to owners and it's never been factored in,” she said.