A group of apartment owners battling to have combustible cladding replaced on their buildings have won a landmark legal victory – giving hope to the thousands more facing similar dangers.
In an Australian first, a major building company which installed timber-PVC Biowood cladding on four multi-storey apartment blocks in Ryde has lost its appeal against being forced to rectify the work.
Further, if it doesn’t reach an agreement with the owners on a timetable for the remediation, a date will be set for them by the state authorities.
Currently, there are two class actions underway in Australia against the manufacturers of cladding, and a call went out earlier this week from the peak body for apartment owners, the Owners Corporation Network, for other affected strata schemes to join.
OCN administrator Karen Stiles said if a building had cladding it could register to join the class action, which is independent of any other action the scheme might be taking.
“OCN supports owners’ rights to pursue their full legal rights in terms of building defects,” she said. “Of course, it is wrong that they have to – unlike other consumers saddled with faulty products like Takata airbags or Infinity Cable where the product is recalled by the manufacturer at their own cost.
“But that’s the current state of Australian play sadly. Hopefully our owner advocacy will improve the situation for future owners.”