“Our sights are set on the small percentage of industry players who aren’t doing the right thing. Whether you are a builder cutting corners, or a certifier passing work that isn’t good enough – expect action from our new team of inspectors” – NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler OAM, 31 August 2020
The Building Commissioner has wasted no time in putting his above words into action by wielding his new powers under the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (RAB). Within a fortnight of the RBA coming into force on 1 September, 2020 compliance officers were dispatched to a site where they identified defects in cladding, waterproofing and elevator installation. By 23 September the first prohibition order had been issued, followed by the first building rectification order on 30 September. The orders can be accessed at Fair Trading’s online RAB register.
On 2 June 2020, in the second reading speech, the then Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Mr Kevin Anderson said:
‘Prohibiting the issue of an occupation certificate or the registration of a strata plan is the ultimate signal to the developer that they must resolve any non-compliance or face never having the building sold or occupied.‘
How developers respond to these swift actions of the Department, and the RBA generally, remains to be seen.
Do you need advice regarding the New Residential Apartment Buildings Act 2020?
Clare Peacock is an experienced construction lawyer working on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Clare provides practical, cost-effective building approval advice to property owners, builders and strata managers. Services include residential building disputes, body corporate issues and strata building problems.