Owners of leaky homes will soon have another option available to them when making claims in relation to their home.  The Government has recently introduced a Bill to Parliament that will facilitate a new financial assistance package.

The financial assistance package is an addition to current procedures, and owners can voluntarily opt-in.  If they choose to make use of the package, they will receive 25% of the agreed repair costs from the Government, and 25% from the local council, provided the council had signed off on the building.  To assist homeowners in funding the remaining repair costs, the Bill gives the Minister authority to offer credit support to banks lending to leaky home owners.

In exchange for this assistance, the homeowner must agree not to sue the Council or the Government in relation to their house.  However, they can still pursue other parties, for example, the builder, through the Weathertight Homes Tribunal or the Courts.  The Bill provides that these other parties will not be able to join a Council to those proceedings.  This will prevent a Council having to pay twice and encourage litigation costs to be diverted towards repair costs.  Additionally, the Crown will have no liability for the failure of any repairs made under this package. 

To make use of the financial assistance package homeowners will have to apply to enter the package within the period of five years from when it gets up and running.  If you have any questions relating to leaky home claims, please feel free to contact us for a relaxed and confidential initial chat on (04) 4736 850.