16 December 2019
A “defective” business model that experts say has reached epidemic levels in the NSW building industry is leaving investors financially broken.
Aidan Ellis, 75, was stunned when the developer and builder of his apartment block could “walk away scot-free” after his companies went into liquidation midway through a battle over defects estimated to be worth in excess of $2 million.
The “six-year nightmare” has forced Mr Ellis into temporary accommodation while his apartment is a demolition site. Stanton Legal told the inquiry that phoenixing was the “most significant factor” in the cascading number of defective buildings.
Associate Professor Hazel Easthope from the University of NSW said it left fixing defects contingent on the “goodwill of those developers and builders”.
Former treasury secretary Michael Lambert, who led a landmark review into NSW building regulations in 2015, said it was “very disappointing” that phoenixing hadn’t been addressed. “It’s quite clear that the building regulation is defective,” he said.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Carrie Fellner and Nigel Gladstone