A penthouse apartment rented for $1063 a week is part of a $2.1 million leaky building wrangle between a retired Wellington solicitor and Auckland Council.
Two top-floor penthouse apartments at 196 Hobson St in the central city have turned into a nightmare for Bob Cummins, who bought them for $1.8m in 2006 as an investment for his family.
Cummins says it has been a bombsite for three years and, although he has no emotional attachment to the investment properties, it has been stressful.
"They are all stripped. It's like a cyclone has gone through. We have had to replace the entire roof of the building as well as all the wall framing. It's just another sorry tale in a saga from leaky buildings," Cummins said.
The tenant of the $1063-a-week unit was forced out in September 2012 when shrink wrap and scaffolding covered the window from a separate re-cladding job on the rest of the 12-storey apartment building. The second apartment, rented for $475 a week, was vacated in May 2013.
Fortunately, the wooden framing showed no harmful mould when the cladding was removed, Cummins said, and "thankfully" posed no health risk to the tenants.
Work has been under way for three years and would be completed at the end of the year.
A weathertight homes tribunal decision established a claim of $2.1m for a complete reclad of the two apartments on the top level.
The claim comprised $1.73m for building repairs, interest of $154,000 and lost rent of about $265,000.
The council, which conceded it was negligent in respect of its inspection and a code compliance certificate issue, was ordered to pay Cummins $1.05m.
The tribunal said Cummins' negligence contributed to 50 per cent of the claim because he did not obtain a building report or LIM report before buying the apartments in 2006 and did not have appropriate regard to the content of the body corporate minutes.
Cummins, who owns the apartments through Manchester Securities Limited, has lodged an appeal in the High Court to seek the full $2.1m.
Auckland Council has welcomed the decision from the tribunal. "We are considering our next steps following an appeal being lodged by Manchester Securities," a spokeswoman said.