Owners Corporation Network provides qualified support for NSW government’s building reform Bills

Jane Hearn, Chair of the Owners Corporation Network (OCN), the only consumer based organisation representing apartment owners in NSW, today welcomed the re-introduction of the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 (DBP Bill) and the introduction of the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement) Bill 2020 (RAB Bill) into NSW Parliament this week.

“Apartment Owners for too long have suffered the devastating financial and emotional consequences of costly building defects in what is usually the biggest purchase of their life”, Ms Hearn said.

“The two bills before Parliament are the first step on the road to raising standards of the industry, reigning in the ‘design and construct’ free for all, and transforming the culture of the industry”, she said.

OCN fully supports the DBP Bill, that includes a statutory duty of care, to start immediately. This reinstates the duty of care that the High Court put in doubt five years ago.

OCN also supports the majority of the RAB Bill but has concerns about one aspect of the “Building Rectification Orders” that impose severe penalties on Owners Corporations and individual lot owners who refuse access to the developer to enable such rectification works to proceed, even where they have reasonable grounds to refuse such access.

The developer has a right of appeal against such an order, but the Owners Corporation (the innocent party) does not. OCN has raised these concerns with the government (see further background in the PDF).

Media comment:
Karen Stiles, OCN Executive Officer, M:0418 232476