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Sunshine Coast residents want answers from building watchdog after hail pelts holes in new homes

Sally Rafferty, Amy Sheehan and Tara Cassidy, Friday November 29, 2019 - 01:27 EDT
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Sheree is one of the residents who have complained to the QBCC. - ABC

Building inspectors from an industry watchdog are assessing homes in a new Sunshine Coast housing estate after homeowners complained their damaged properties are not up to scratch after a recent hail storm.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) said it has received written statements from several homeowners in the newly established Aura Estate, south of Caloundra.

Deputy commissioner Philip Halton said two inspectors have visited properties this week to look at the damage and assess the quality of the building work.

"There are new home owners up there who have experienced damage to their properties and they've come to us," he said.

"They're asking some questions about whether their homes should have been able to withstand the force of that storm."

Residents call for answers

Sunshine Coast homeowner Sheree, who did not want her surname published, had inspectors at her home on Wednesday after her roof became .

"I want to make sure that my daughter and I have a house for a long time, we have a roof that covers us and I'm not paying excess every time that there is a storm that hits," she said.

She said she hoped the investigation would provide a speedy solution.

"It's not about pointing fingers it's just about trying to find a resolution or solution to what the issue is."

About 4,000 people live in the estate .

Mr Halton said the majority of the complaints related to damaged roof tiles, exterior walls and broken windows.

"For some of the properties in that area there's been roofing damage where tiles that have broken or moved and ... following that people have had water enter their properties," Mr Halton said.

The QBCC said it was not unusual for people to make contact after a storm event, but at least seven homeowners — from the Aura Estate alone — have lodged complaints and asked to have their homes inspected.

"We're putting two of our men out into the community to visit homeowners and physically inspect the houses," Mr Halton said.

"We're taking it seriously.

"So if these people have bought homes where the building work isn't up to the standard that it should be, we step in as an insurer to protect them."

MP blames legislation

The Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has organised a community meeting for next week to have some of the concerns addressed by the builders themselves.

But he believed the problem was in the state legislation.

"In this area of Queensland there's no requirement legally to put in what is called sarking," Mr McArdle said.

"Sarking is a membrane that sits under cement [roof] tiles ... water goes through, it hits the sarking then runs off into the gutter."

Mr McArdle said building policies may need to change to reflect the need for sarking in all Queensland homes.

"Contracts that were signed by the [Aura] owners did state quite clearly sarking was an optional extra, but it would cost money to do so," he said.

"Contracts I think should have a term in it explaining fully what sarking does, the risk of not having it in and more importantly what would be the outcome if a severe storm hits."



© ABC 2019

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