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Turner: Leaky Homes changes good ... but...

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday 17 May

Turner: Leaky Homes changes good ... but...

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner has welcomed the announcement of an overhaul of the Leaky Homes Service but warns that it does not go far enough.

"I am encouraged by the measures to overhaul the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service announced last Friday by the Minister of Building Issues," said Mrs Turner.

"However, I do not believe that these new initiatives go far enough to prevent people from continuing to exploit the system."

According to Mrs Turner, "Currently it is possible for a home owner to receive financial assistance to settle the cost of repair and then sell the house, pocket the money and leave the problem to the new owner who can then make a second claim."

The Department of Building and Housing says 40 dwellings were subject to multiple claims in the 2004/2005 financial year alone.

"The Government response to the issue is to publish this information in a report for each property, however this does not stop multiple claims," said Mrs Turner.

"Although it is a prudent step by the Government to streamline the resolution process, it should be primarily concerned with making sure there is auditable proof that every settlement is resulting in the repair of a leaky building," said Mrs Turner.

"I would like to see the settlements assigned to the contractor responsible for the repair work rather than to the owner of the house.

"That way there is no incentive for homeowners to take the money and run.

"It is not prudent to leave these settlements up to the honesty and integrity of people without sufficient safeguards in place," concluded Mrs Turner.


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