Identifying defects

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The sooner defects are identified, the sooner they can be rectified.

Promptly document and report any defects you find, and follow these steps:

Step 1: Gather Key Documentation For new buildings, obtain development drawings, approval documents, identified and potential defects, work health and safety compliance, and other relevant documents from builders, contractors, and developers. The initial maintenance schedule, containing warranties and manuals for common property, should be legally provided by the original owners. Older buildings can hire a quantity surveyor to create a maintenance schedule.

Step 2: Owners and Common Property Owners should document defects within their lots, and the owners corporation should document common property defects. This documentation raises awareness among stakeholders and provides evidence for potential legal action.

Step 3: Obtain a Professional Defects Report. A professional defects report lists defects and incomplete work for the contractor or builder to address. Ensure it’s comprehensive, identifies non-compliance with building regulations, and categorises defects. You can also obtain individual lot defect reports. Timely reporting accelerates rectification and potential claims.

Note that inspection comprehensiveness varies, so seek advice from strata professionals or reputable inspection companies. In new buildings under the Strata Bond Scheme, consider commissioning a defects report in addition to the inspector’s report for hidden or emerging defects.

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