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New prospects for owners of Canterbury on-sold property

The Earthquake Commission has welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Hon Grant Robertson and Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Megan Woods.

The new package will enable homeowners of over-cap on-sold properties* in Canterbury to apply for an ex-gratia Government payment to have their homes repaired.

EQC chief executive Sid Miller is calling on homeowners in the Canterbury area who think they may be eligible to register with EQC.

“Our staff will help homeowners through the process of determining whether their properties meet the eligibility criteria for this policy,” says Mr Miller.

Mr Miller says that homeowners who think they may be eligible for an ex-gratia payment from the Government, can find more information on www.eqc.govt.nz, including an online form to register their details.

The EQC chief executive says that the Government’s ex-gratia payments may prevent lengthy and costly litigation for homeowners who felt they had run out of options.

“This new policy will hopefully create certainty for homeowners and avoid the delays, stress and significant cost associated with court proceedings.”

Homeowners have 12 months to register their interest for the ex-gratia payment. Mr Miller says that it also is important to note that any person buying a house after today, August 15, will not be eligible for this payment.

“We need to reiterate that it is the responsibility of home buyers to do their due diligence and get a detailed building inspection before they buy a property, especially in an area that has been subject to a natural disaster,” says Miller.

“Unfortunately, many Canterbury buyers have used an EQC assessment to judge the state of a property. The EQC assessment is done to validate claims for earthquake damage, it is not a building report.”

* An ‘on-sold over-cap claim’ is a claim on a property that has been sold since the earthquakes, at the time purchased was under the EQC cap, but has subsequently had unscoped or missed damage identified and is now costed at more than the EQC cap, and the customer cannot recover the over-cap amount from their private insurer.


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