Sam was an owner of an apartment in a complex which over the years had had some issues with leaks.  Because some owners refused to do anything about the problem, the Body Corporate had never obtained legal advice about lodging a claim and the problems had worsened over time.  When Sam decided to contact his lawyer about filing a claim, he was shocked to hear that because of the age of the building, they were too late.

There is a strict 10 year time limit for filing leaky homes claims.

Generally under the leaky homes package, which is set to be finalised in 2011, Councils and the government will each pay 25 percent of the total cost of repairs (provided that homeowners will forgo their right to sue the Council or Crown).  Homeowners are responsible for the balance of the cost, however they can borrow the funds under the Government’s financial assistance package and can try to sue other parties involved in causing the issues (such as builders or engineers), for the remaining costs of repair.

To qualify for the package and to lodge your claim your house must have been built within the last 10 years, regardless of when the leaks or damage were discovered and your claim must be lodged within 5 years of the scheme commencing.