Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

'Leaky' apartment owner: Don't fix it

Ryan Pausina stands outside the apartments he claims need only minor repairs. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Ryan Pausina stands outside the apartments he claims need only minor repairs. Photo / Steven McNicholl

An Auckland apartment owner is opposing a $4 million repair job planned for a block which he claims does not need fixing and has only minor leaks.

Ryan Pausina, who has a place in Marina Park Apartments at 146 Fanshawe St, near Victoria Park, says it is a dry building but other owners disagree and say it needs fixing.

"The owners' committee has signed a contract to reclad the entire building and roof for approximately $4 million," Mr Pausina said. The work is to begin soon.

He blames the body corporate - of which he has been a member - and Auckland Council for plans to repair to the terracotta-coloured block and wants other owners to join him to oppose the moves.

"The main issue with owners is not the condition of the building. The problem is that council have labelled our building as leaky on our LIM report and the only way to sort that problem is a full reclad at great cost and expense to all involved. As we have more minor issues it's not to say we don't have a legitimate claim against council for a full reclad," Mr Pausina said.

But Estelle Barlow, chairwoman of the owners' committee, said the building had weathertightness problems and High Court action was planned over issues there. "When we had a survey done, it was identified we had sufficient leaky issues," she said.

A council spokeswoman said no repairs were demanded but residents were suing the council over problems with the block's construction.

This follows a string of litigation over many years by property owners against the council for its role in the leaky building disaster, estimated to cost up to $22 billion.

If the body corporate chose to undertake building work, it would lodge a building consent application with the council to approve or otherwise, she said. "Fundamentally the decision whether to undertake works or repairs will rest with the owners. From a building consent perspective, once they apply for building consent we obviously have a role in determining that those works are appropriate and achieve what they are designed to achieve."

- NZ Herald

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