Trapped in leaky home

Source: North Shore Times

By Liz Willis
 Tuesday Apr 9, 2013


Leaky home problems have "trapped" Robin Molloy and his wife in their Albany house.

The Molloys are in their 70s and battling to resolve consent issues so they can sell the big home they bought 10 years ago.

"We can't sell and downgrade because of the ‘leaky home' label and my wife works to support the mortgage."

Ill health prevents Mr Molloy from working and his wife, who doesn't want to be named, is forced to work though ready for retirement.

"We're trapped here. Lesser people would die and that's what is happening," Mr Molloy says.

"We want justice. We could be living in Orewa by the beach and near our grandchildren."

Mr Molloy says he's frustrated because he hasn't broken any building rules and their Albany development discouraged timber homes. Moisture detection tests first spotted problems in their deck in 2002 and Mr Molloy says they're still battling bureaucracy.

"We're sitting here in limbo and getting steadily less healthy. It's extremely frustrating."

A full recladding of their home was recommended because of monolithic cladding, attached directly to untreated timber. Mr Molloy says they successfully applied for help under the Government's Financial Assistance Package (FAP) but the system is "pathetic and slow". Only 25 per cent of costs are covered and they are already disputing costs, he says.

Mr Molloy says consenting problems with the Auckland Council and former North Shore City Council added to their woes. The Shore council never gave the house a code of compliance certificate that is critical documentation for being able to sell it, he says. Mr Molloy says the council was contacted numerous times to do a final inspection and in the meantime building codes changed.

The frustration continued with Auckland Council, he says. They are now up to their seventh application to sign off repairs after each time facing new requirements, Mr Molloy says. Council spokesman Bob de Leur says staff are dealing with a fairly straightforward application over the recladding.

There have been delays over the lack of detail provided and overlaps dealing with both the owner and his design consultant, Mr de Leur says.




Sheer frustration: Robin Molloy wants to downsize his house but leaky home battles prevent it.

He is unaware of this being the seventh application. A spokesman for Minister for Building and Construction Maurice Williamson's office says the ministry won't comment on individual cases. But Mr Williamson says the FAP has helped 181 households with repairs totalling $7.6 million since its introduction in July 2011.

The ministry is working with 941 claims, representing 2738 homeowners. The Government expects more payments being made to claimants in the scheme's second and third year.

North Shore Times