I bought an ex-showhome and it leaks, what can I do?

Question from Raj updated on 22nd January 2008:

I have purchased a house recently which I was told the developer was using as show home for a year or so. We have taken 60 days guarantee from the occupancy. Before the settlement we asked the developer if there were any leaks, and the developer never disclosed the leaks. In less than a week from the purchase the house started leaking badly and they were trying to fix the leaks. What are the options are available for me at this stage? This is a private sale.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

First, it is always a good idea to get a house inspection report before buying, to find out if there are leaks. Second, you need to look at the detail of the guarantee. It may be that you have to give the developer a chance to fix the leaks before doing anything further. Third, if they do not fix the leaks you may be able to bring a claim against them. There are two possible ways you could bring a claim: 1. Apply to the Department of Building and Housing to bring a WHRS claim. For $500 you get a comprehensive assessor’s report and access to speedy, cost-effective resolution procedures, if found eligible (see www.dbh.govt.nz or call 0800 324 477). 2. Start court proceedings. You may wish to get some legal advice on your particular situation.



The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.




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