Purchasing an Apartment? Beware of Cladding!

September 2020
Image of apartment buildings

Purchasing an Apartment? Beware of Cladding!

Avoid costly mistakes when you find your dream apartment or investment unit by making sure you always check for combustible cladding.  External combustible cladding presents a severe fire safety risk to all occupants of buildings.

Concerns have been raised following the 2017 fire at London’s Grenfell Tower which saw 72 people die, and the 2014 fire at the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne, both due to composite cladding.  In response to these concerns, in 2018 the Combustible Cladding Regulation was introduced and implemented by the NSW Government.  Under this regulation, owners of certain types of buildings with external combustible cladding are now required to register their building with the NSW Government.  The regulation also requires owners of new buildings to register their building within four months of the building first being occupied.

Just recently, a group of apartment owners battling to have combustible cladding on their buildings removed and replaced, won in Court (See here)  This has set a precedent in Australia, as this is the first reported case where a Court has upheld a finding that cladding is combustible.  The consequence of the Court accepting that cladding is a combustible product and a fire hazard, is that the builder was ordered to rectify the defect.  It has been clearly demonstrated that it is of great importance to check for combustible cladding before the purchase of any unit in a strata complex.

Although these particular property owners were lucky to have a Court win, these wins always come at a cost.  The Sydney Property Conveyancing team will always seek answers for our clients from the Vendor, prior to exchange of any contract for the purchase of a strata unit.

If you’re purchasing an apartment and have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Jeanette, Tiara and the team at Sydney Property Conveyancing on 1300 367 176.

Isobel Bathgate
21 September 2020