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Construction issues resolution in Sydney - Part 1


Situation

Vendor has sold the property and signed the contract. As per contract of sale the vendor at their own expense needs to rectify defects within 6 months after settlement.
Vendor engages their builder to rectify the defects. The Builder doesn't provide any reasonable notice, doesn't want to rectify some of the defects, doesn't have any quality assurance in place.
Both Vendor and Builder doesn't communicate any certain dates, Vendor says to do whatever the owner of the property wants, Builder doesn't respond in writing.

Resolution

Stage 1.  Beginning of December 2011 - just after settlement. Owner sent defects list to the Vendor as per contract of sale. Vendor forwarded the list to the builder. Builder sends people to the property. They didn't provide any notification in writing, fixed some of the defects quickly and din't rectify majority of them, left the mess after themselves.

Stage 2.  Mid January 2012. Owner sent the list of outstanding defects to the Vendor and Builder again. Builder started objecting the list and started sending the managers to look at the defects. Because no process is implemented by the builder and no quality assurance - the people on site didn't communicate any problems back to their management. At that point - 3 people from Vendor and Builder companies have come to inspect the defects.
Builder representatives showed no respect to the owners, didn't listen to the enquiries and always tried to escape from the site as quickly as possible.
However they acknowledged the defects eventually and haven't said they wouldn't rectify it.

Stage 3.  Mid February 2012. Owner sent the email to confirm that the defects were not rectified in full and that  no communication has been received from either Vendor or Builder.
Clearly stated the following in the email:
  • The property was purchased from the Vendor and the owner would like Vendor to liaise with builders and people who performed work on site to fix the issues.
  • The owner would like clear communication about the progress of work and when exactly every item is going to be addressed. The issue list has been sent and confirmed with Builder.
  • If the Vendor needs any information about the issues that have to be fixed (completely, not partially as sometimes Builder does) the list could be sent again.
No response has been received for that email.
However the Builder's manager came on site to see the issues, started saying that maybe it's the owner who is responsible for the defects!

Stage 4.  End February 2012. Vendor has appointed another person who is responsible to deal with the defects. This person has never sent a single email or letter to the owners. The Builder has come to rectify some of the defects slowly.
Status: 6 people inspected the unit - 3 from Vendor, 3 from Builder; 5-6 tradesmen to rectify the defects. Major defects are still not rectified.

Stage 5. Beginning of March 2012. Sent an email to Vendor and Builder to confirm that the defects were not rectified in full and that some of the earlier fixes didn't work. No communication has been received from either Vendor or Builder.

Stage 6. Beginning of April 2012. Sent an email to Vendor and Builder to confirm that the defects were not rectified in full and that some of the earlier fixes didn't work. Vendor representative in a phone conversation suggested that the owner have to go via strata management to rectify the issues.
Sent an email to strata management describing the outstanding defects and the situation with a copy sent to Vendor and Builder. Strata manager responded that the email would be forwarded to Executive Committee who work with the Builder on defects. After no response for a week sent a new email to strata manager to confirm the status. Strata manager said that he would forward the email.  
Vendor assigned a new person of contact about the defects - fifth during the entire process.

Stage 7. End of April 2012. Builder has come to fix some of the defects. No communication from either Builder or Vendor about certain dates when the defects will be rectified.

Stage 8. End of May 2012. Defects are still not rectified. No communication from the Builder or Vendor.
Applied fixes for some defects didn't work and needed revisit by the Builder.
The Vendor initiates a formal inspection by the independent specialist to come up with Defects Report for all defects in the building. The Inspector came to the owners and inspected their unit.

Stage 9. End of June 2012. Owner sent an email to the Vendor to enquire about the defects rectification status. Vendor responded with just stating the fact of inspection and that then the report would be lodged with the Builder to rectify all defects in the building. No certain timeframes or deadlines were provided by the Vendor.

Stage 10. End of July 2012. Owner sent an email to the Vendor to enquire about the defects rectification status. Vendor responded with just stating the fact of inspection has been done and that then the report would be lodged with the Builder to rectify all defects in the building. No certain timeframes or deadlines were provided by the Vendor.

Stage 11. Beginning of September 2012. Builder came to inspect the unit to review the defects report and to put next steps to rectify defects. Same builder that hasn't been able to perform their work properly since the start of the process! The Builder visited the unit 10+ times already. I have never seen such useless people before. I understand that they don't want to finish the work, but I don't know how they acquire more and more work in the industry by doing such a shitty job and by being such assholes!
Vendor is not any better, because they are trying to transfer their responsibility and point of contact to the Builder, then to Strata management.

Stage 12. Mid October 2012. Vendor engaged strata manager to communicate the progress of defects rectification. Strata manager communicated to the owner that the Builder was coming to perform the work to rectify defects at the end of October 2012. Builder should have communicated exact date and time when the work would be carried out according to the letter from strata manager.

Stage 13. End October 2012. Builder has not contacted the owner at all. The only person who came to work was a painter. No work on core defects has been done!

Conclusion

11 months since settlement, major defects are still not rectified, Vendor and Builder has not communicated any reasonable information and are ignoring any requests from the owner.
They are not afraid of Fair Trading, because the owner pointed out to them in writing that there is a possibility of escalating this matter with Fair Trading and the response from the Vendor was the owner may take any action they wanted.

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