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Supreme victory in Leaky Home case

By Andrew Steele - 10 Jun 2014

The Supreme Court has today opened the door for many more home owners to bring claims in the Weathertight Homes Tribunal (WHT). The Court ruled in favour of John and Helen Osborne who have been battling to have their leaky home claim declared eligible in the WHT. They brought their claim within ten years of a code compliance certificate (CCC) being issued by Auckland Council but their claim was found to be ineligible.

The decision hinged on when the house was "built". The actual building work had been completed more then ten years ago. A High Court judge and the Court of Appeal agreed with the Chief Executive of the DBH that the claim was ineligible. The Supreme Court has now overturned those decisions ruling that if the CCC is in time the claim is eligible as the certification process is part of the "building work". William Young J delivering the court's reasons described the "nasty trap" that the Osbornes had fallen into. They believed they had done the right thing by filing their claim less than ten years after the CCC had been issued only to find that their claim was ineligible and it was too late to bring a claim in the High Court.

The Council clearly saw the writing on the wall and made a conditional offer of settlement to the Osbornes: conditional upon the Supreme Court's decision not being released. Although aware of the conditional offer the Court recognised the public importance of its decision even if there had been a settlement. 

For all leaky home enquiries contact Andrew Steele to discuss your options for recouping your losses.

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