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Any advice warmly welcomed – new development flooding

Discussion in 'Development' started by Sasim, 11th Aug, 2015.

  1. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Hello all, finally transferred over from SS and the wealth of knowledge here still amazes me.

    Wondering if anyone has any advice/ knowledge they are happy to share:

    In WA – completed a villa triplex December last year. After a year of what felt like pulling teeth with the Builder, have all three rented out – things were calming down.

    Received a call from Tenants in Villa A – water coming up from the shower drains and their courtyard also flooded, causing flooding in the master bedroom.

    Called the Building Supervisor, he got the Plumber out. Blame was instantly on the Draftsman that did the plans…. Building company claimed the levels were not correct and this is what is causing the flooding.

    Plumber said he will fix…this was meant to be near three weeks ago. I was in surgery and followed up straight out of hospital a week and half ago – Plumber apparently went to Bali and is currently stuck there.

    Also contacted the Building Supervisor again in regards to carpets as he said he will look into it (I cant claim on insurance as it is a fault not a burst pipe), he later turned around and said called the Builder.

    FINALLY get hold of the Builder and he start blaming the Surveyor, saying it is not his fault and he is not doing anything about the carpet and he will chase up the Plumber (which means I will be spending the next couple of weeks chasing both of them – history repeats). Meanwhile tenants are waiting to hear from me which I don’t like as that is not how I like to manage properties and Tenants, I am all about addressing things immediately.

    I suppose the real question here is if the levels are incorrect on a new development, therefore causing the flooding…where would that responsibility lay?


    Thanks in advance for any input J
     
  2. TheSackedWiggle

    TheSackedWiggle Well-Known Member

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  3. Jess Peletier

    Jess Peletier Mortgage Broker - Australia Wide Business Member

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    That sounds quite similar to an issue I'm having too - flooding courtyard. Thankfully no wet carpet though.
    I don't think you can afford to wait to recify it - you might have to foot the bill for the sake of the tenants.
    Your builder sounds a lot like mine - can you PM the name? Would be 'funny' if it was the same mob.
     
  4. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Sadly too close to how I feel they operate!
     
  5. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Cheers Jess,
    The crazy part is the courtyard issue and the water coming up from the shower is two seperate problems.

    We would have gone in immediately to fix the carpets but the company said at the start they would look into doing it ( not covered under our insurance as it is a building issue). Of course I think they played on the fact I was going into hospital and couldn't follow up for a week and therefore could ignore the issue.

    Irony is - it is meant to be inspected next week for HIA awards..... Hmmmm.....

    Will PM
     
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  6. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    I think depending on the damage you may need to make good for tenants then chase them for paying the bill if found it's their fault

    If may or may not be 2 separate problems. The bathroom sounds like blocked plumbing, best to get another plumber perhaps so it's all still usable. The court yard may be flooding due to the way the block had been cut and levelled... or this may also be plumbing overflowing out of a trap or gully nearby.
    Did it occur during heavy rain?

    I've seen some classic blocks built where they come with free water courses because the supervisor and operators can't level blocks correctly!
     
  7. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Hi Bob,
    Cheers for your reply.

    Just to clarify - yes it was due to heavy rains. The flooding came and went in one day, the most inconvenience to the tenants was the water in the carpet - certainly wouldn't leave them with water lying around. I just want it fixed before the next rains and of course would have done something with the carpet immediately except for at that time the Builder said they were going to.

    The carpets are now dry but damage to underlay is unknown so I need to address this for the tenants.

    My fear is your last sentence - job not done properly but would cost a fortune to follow this up - everyone keen to blame the other trade.

    As far as we can ascertain (have been told) is the bathroom issue is due to the trap/overflow gully being at the lowest point on the land and the courtyard was due to overflow of the storm water drain in the drive way.

    A per what you have seen, I fear the long term consequences of this. The plumber has assured a fix that will solve the issue long term...just have to get him there...or maybe start with answering my calls...3.5 weeks and counting.

    Thanks for your advice :)
     
  8. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    My other comment got deleted, I guess I forgot to add the small quotes to funny:
    That would be 'funny', let us know if they are the same.
    Obviously it would benefit others who are looking to do the same to avoid using them.
     
  9. Jess Peletier

    Jess Peletier Mortgage Broker - Australia Wide Business Member

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    Not the same builder, it turns out. :)
     
  10. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Ah very good, thanks for letting us know.
    They must have been apprentices together under the same guy.
     
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  11. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    sounds like the plumbing needs looking at as you said. stormwater pipes dont get looked after when there are building works are going on and it is usually pretty roughly installed too! chances are its cracked or blocked somewhere (multiple place). sounds like fun job for the plumber and probably done a few before! I would worry about the lay of the land just yet. get the plumbing fixed then look at the block

    Check your contract but as the client and you have issued an "instruction" if they do not respond with a specified time you are able to attend to it yourself, then pass on the costs to them. the legal guys may have more info and also depends on the contract your working with. plus it may fall into the defects period which could be different again.
    where are the legal gurus around here when you need them??

    Also you may be withholding the last progres payment/s?? you can deduct the invoice for the works off your next payment possibly, again check contract

    i just looked at a rental prop, brand new townhouse and they had a stormwater issue. as we were walking out i told the PM the pit in the driveway was blocked, which was causeing the pipes at the base of the 2 downpipes to overflow. yard was saturated and ponding around the side of the house. New houses just need to sit 100mm higher and have the ground around sloping away gently!
     
    Last edited: 13th Aug, 2015
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  12. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Hi Azazel,
    As Jess mentioned not the same.
    I would have had more comfort if they were...scary that this happens and maybe another thing for anyone going into a development fresh (as I was) to watch out for.
    My real concern is how to know who is responsible for the error - I can assure you no one is putting their hand up this end ;)
     
  13. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Hi Bob,

    Cheers so much again. Still chasing the plumber as he has still not got back to me so will reiterate my concerns to him based on what you have written and your information above.

    On the contract - I did check this at the time and noted the part about timelines and issuing an instruction, I also mentioned this to the Builder in email. The reason I have not gone down this route is 1) The contract is clearly set up for the Builder and is quite vague in regards to client needs (WA contracts that is) 2) It has been 7 months since the build was complete and 3) My experience with the Builder is they will not accept blame and provide any excuse possible, dragging it out over a long period of time. Therefore I thought if their plumber is going to fix it for them (which I was promised would be done 3 weeks ago), it is the path of least resistance.


    In all of this what scares me is their is no accountability....Jess and her issues, you seem to have just "accidentally" found another property in the same predicament ...

    I only hope at least this post helps someone else in the future.
     
  14. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    I would expect you just chase the builder, then they chase the plumber or who ever is needed to rectify.

    either way going back to fix stuff ups is a pain and they wouldn't have it high on their list.just arm your self with the right lingo and paperwork to put the pressure on - the right way
     
  15. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Thanks Bob,

    Yes I would have expected the same however that is not how it has been throughout the whole build. Plumber finally called today - even he said deal direct with him ;)

    Thanks again for all of your advice - it is greatly appreciated.
     
  16. Jess Peletier

    Jess Peletier Mortgage Broker - Australia Wide Business Member

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  17. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Thanks Jess
     
  18. TML

    TML Well-Known Member

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    hopefully you have luck getting the builder/plumber to fix it.

    i was thought there will be some sort of home warranty insurance or new development insurance that will help the developer or owner if something like this happens.

    fighting it on your own is hard especially when all money are exchanged.

    May i ask, if you did the next project will you be able to amend the contract to better suit you than the builder? add a clause within in the line of "latent defect raised within the warranty period shall be fixed with X days or weeks otherwise the builder will be subject to penalties or liquidated damages" ?

    I guess the above will work if you hold X amount of agreed cash for the 12 months period?
     
  19. Sasim

    Sasim Member

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    Hi TML,

    Yes I also thought this would be covered under the defect period, however the Builder claims this is not his fault and the plumber also said it is not his fault and he is fixing it to do the Builder a favour. As Bob mentioned, this is not a priority job to them.You are right - fighting on your own is hard. Getting progress from them throughout the build even when money hadn't been paid was very difficult.

    The grey area is I had a Draftee do the plans and then shopped the contract. Therefore, they keep coming back to blame prior to their involvement. Of course I am not expert so I expect it would cost me more to determine who owns the fault than the resolution we are heading towards now.

    My understanding (just through chatting with people - no contract knowledge) is the contracts in WA are somewhat different to the East Coast. So while there are facilities in the contract for such matter, they are so grey and loaded towards the Builder. The clause you mention above is there to a degree and would be applicable if say.... there was a pipe that wasn't installed properly, not dependent on other factors such as survey of the land.

    I did manage to include many additional clauses and details in the Addenda(if you could call it that - I did most of the typing for the Builder) which did help us out through the process.

    I agree with you completely and if there is the opportunity to include a clause such as you have outlined above, I would for sure in the future. However at the time of shopping for Builders, when they are in high demand they are not one bit interested in doing anything outside of the HIA contract to secure business.

    Have I learnt a lot for the next build - oh yes! I am also sure there will be many new lessons - I suppose the learning is part of the journey :)
     
  20. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    I am not too sure about WA but, in VIC the plumber has to issue a work completion/compliance certificate and the responsibility lies squarely with the plumber concerned.

    Try a call to building commission and they will guide you to the right way.

    "the plumber also said it is not his fault and he is fixing it to do the Builder a favour."

    The plumber is doing no one (including himself) any favors with such an attitude and such complaints may effect his license.

    Good luck and hope you have a resolution soon.