Leaky apartment building on market

By Anne Gibson

Tenants have been forced to evacuate a huge, unsafe block of leaky Auckland apartments which estate agents are now trying to sell.

The 24 units in Minnie St, Eden Terrace, have been vacant for about three months after the building was found to have serious structural issues.

Bayleys is hunting for buyers for the block but is telling those interested about the building's defects.

Receivers KordaMentha said evacuation was deemed necessary to ensure no one was hurt.

"The apartment block is untenanted," said receiver Brendon Gibson.

"Following the findings in a report prepared by a building assessor in relation to the structural integrity of the building, we requested all tenants vacate the premises immediately."

Bayleys is advertising the freehold standalone residential apartment complex as needing waterproofing remediation.

Buyers could improve the block's value by completing works required, the agency said.

The block, which is just a few years old, stands near the junction of New North and Dominion Rds and is owned by Wescott Holdings, which is in receivership and liquidation.

QV lists the 24 units as being worth above $200,000 each but the block is expected to fetch less than $4 million.

The apartments are 44sq m to 86sq m. Each unit has decking and covered secure carparking.

Trevor Elia, one of the Bayleys agents trying to sell the block, said all the cladding and all decks had to be stripped off.

Tenders closed with Bayleys on June 24 and Mr Elia said a number of people had expressed an interest in buying the block.

Demolition expert Alex Burrell was concerned about the block and said extensive work was needed to fix it. "I looked at it about 18 months ago to take the decks off it as a contract."

At least four leaky Auckland houses have been demolished, including one in Mission Bay and two on the North Shore.

"About 20 per cent of all leaky buildings will have to be demolished," Mr Burrell said. "It's cheaper in many cases to start again and rebuild."

He said he had quoted on demolishing the 153-unit Sacramento at Botany Downs, one of the largest leaky building complexes. But owners have decided to fix their places instead.

Colleen Dicks, the leaky building victim who rose to prominence in Hobsonville three years ago, had her place demolished a few weeks ago.

John Gray of the Homeowners and Buyers Association was involved in organising tradespeople and suppliers to tear it down and build her a new house.

She got a $250,900 payout from Waitakere City Council, which eventually ditched its challenge against a High Court ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Ms Dicks initially took her claim to the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service and got mediation with the builder, but that was unsuccessful because he did not fix her home.

Greg O'Sullivan, of leaky building consultants Prendos, challenged the need to demolish leaky places but said it was rare to order an evacuation.

He cited a number of Auckland properties held up with props and supports, deteriorating and needing serious repairs.

He said many people were in denial about the seriousness of the issue.

* How many leaks?

Weathertight Homes Resolution Service:

5767 claims have been lodged.

7126 properties are involved.

6509 properties have been assessed.

1836 active claims in Auckland City.

- NZ Herald

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