Great Result for Leaky Building Apartment Owners

April 30, 2015

Since September 2008 Prendos has assisted the Nautilus Apartment Body Corporate owners to reveal substantial defective building issues of a global nature affecting all areas of the apartment block located in Orewa.

**Update Oct 2016: Remediation work has now begun on the Nautilus**

The body corporate and owners of the residential units placed a claim with the High Court that the apartment block, which was constructed at a cost of some $35 million between October 2002 and June 2004, suffers from fundamental design and construction defects that it will cost over $23 million to repair. With support from Rainey Law, Prendos and others the owners sought compensation for the remediation costs, temporary repairs, loss of use of the units while they are remediated and general damages for inconvenience. The defendants included the Council, construction company and architects.

On the 29th April 2015 the High Court judgement was delivered, awarding the owners $25.07 million. The NZ Herald reported that this is the largest amount awarded to leaky building owners in New Zealand (read the full article here – NZ Herald – Orewa tower owners win NZ’s biggest leaky building case). The full decision released by the High Court stated Greg O’Sullivan, a director of Prendos, was responsible for directing and reviewing the investigation carried out at the Nautilus by Prendos employees Jake Woolgar and Sean Cavan, experienced consultants with specialist expertise in investigating weathertightness defects in buildings and designing remedial solutions. The evidence and testimony provided by Prendos consultants was integral to the judgement that the Council and others are liable for the defects. At several points throughout the document the judge noted that there was no challenge to the evidence of these experts as to the fundamental defects, and he accepted the assessment concerning the amount claimed.

In the years since Prendos has been involved with the Nautilus Body Corporate our investigations and recommendations have resulted in an approved scope of works, a design receiving resource consent, a successful tender to a highly regarded construction company and now legal recourse to assist the owners with the financial burden of owning and repairing a leaky building.

Greg said of the High Court decision “this was a very clear well defined judgement, one that reflected the extent of remediation required for this building. I am delighted for the owners who have been through years of stress. They have shown a resilience and unified effort that made them a pleasure to work alongside through this long process. This judgement will now allow them to put the past behind them and move forward in a positive way. The legal team assembled by Tim Rainey were impressive and should be congratulated on the way they presented this case to the Court.“

Greg was quoted in the NZ Herald in regards to the Nautilus apartment owners’ $25.07 million win against Auckland Council and others. “Justice Murray Gilbert’s decision on the Nautilus case was interesting because it was so clearly written. It defined not only council’s role but also the role of the architect and the need for robust producer statements and in this case, it didn’t happen.” Read the full article here – NZ Herald – Leaky payout shows failings: expert.

Prendos are proud of the work we have completed to date at the Nautilus apartments, and we are looking forward to seeing the apartment tower repaired so that the owners can re-establish the integrity of their dwellings and regain a return to full amenity and value.

To find out more about how weathertightness problems affect residential properties, visit our Leaky Building Resource Centre, or alternatively contact us on 0800 PRENDOS, email or fill in the contact form below and we will get in touch.

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