Leaky Homes - Don't be out of Time!

Monday September 1, 2008

The impact on a home owner who discovers that they own a "leaky home" can be devastating both financially and mentally.

But what can be even more devastating is for a home owner to find out that although they have a "leaky home" they are unable to sue any of the people legally responsible. This is because, quite simply, they are out of time.

Therefore, it is important for home owners to be aware that there are various time limits that apply if they want to bring a claim against those responsible for their leaky home. 

The main time limit for home owners to be aware of is that they have 10 years from the date their home was built to bring a claim. So, generally speaking, if your home was built over 10 years ago, then you are unable to bring legal proceedings against those responsible. 

Home owners who have a "leaky home" have the option of using the Weathertight Homes Tribunal (set up by the Government specifically for leaky homes) or going through the Courts. The ten year time limit (with slight variations as to when it commences) applies regardless of which option is chosen. 

However, it is important to also be aware that when the clock stops is different depending on whether the Weathertight Homes Tribunal or the Courts is chosen. In using the Weathertight Homes Tribunal a home owner has to have applied for an Assessor's Report within 10 years of their home being built. If using the Courts, proceedings must be filed within the 10 years from the date of the act or omission on which the proceedings are based. 

There are also a number of other time limits that apply depending on the nature of the claim and who is being sued. Working out how these time limits apply to a leaky home claim can be quite complicated and legal advice is necessary, especially if it is getting close to the various time limits being up. The time limits are such it can be a matter of days between being able to bring a claim against those responsible and not being able to bring a claim.

So, if you think your home may be leaky and it is getting close to being 10 years old, then don’t procrastinate. It is a simple matter to talk to Holland Beckett about your options and we can advise you how best to ensure that you do not end up without any legal remedies because you are out of time.

The information supplied in this article is in general terms and should not be relied upon without taking legal advice particular to each situation.

Leaky homes

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