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Combustible cladding update

Combustible cladding is a topic impacting many owners across the country and the media coverage has generated an unprecedented level of concern. We need to stay across the topic so Mint Property Management attended the recent REIV update on Combustible Cladding, with Dan O’Brien, the CEO of Cladding Safe Victoria (CSV). Our notes from the session follow.

With $600m in government funding, CSV is a government body appointed to work with Owners Corporations to identify and rectify non-compliant cladding and close the gap of fragmented ownership across the entire process. So far, 434 buildings have been identified as High Risk, 93% of which are under 10 storeys high.

The cladding types under scrutiny are:

CSV’s end-to-end process encompasses the following activities:

  • Professional project management services
  • Design costs:
    • fire safety engineer
    • architectural services
    • façade and structural engineer
    • quantity surveyors
  • Building Appeals Board (BAB) applications and hearing fees
  • Cladding related construction services and materials
  • Potentially reimbursement (under strict criteria)

Included in the process is appointing a panel of builders to provide options to the Owners Corporations. The builders will apply and be vetted on a set of selection criteria including quality and stability.

The process could take more than 75 weeks (one and a half years approx.) however efforts will be made to significantly reduce this time span.

Conference attendees raised questions and voiced concern around three key areas:

  • Possibility to amend the Owners Corporation Act to ensure resolutions can be passed more easily
  • Re-classification or improved definitions of buildings identified as at risk to ensure Vendors and Buyers are better informed through the property acquisition process
  • Insurers are now charging based on ‘uncertainty’ and the assertion will be up to Owners Corporations to re-negotiate once the building has received a Certificate of Compliance.

These areas do not fall under the remit of CSV but certainly have an impact on Owners and the ease of interacting with the remedial process.

Next steps for CSV are:

  1. Continue with rectification on the top 15 high-risk buildings
  2. Scale and accelerate the program to achieve 100+ buildings per year
  3. Explore ways to reduce the 75-week duration of the process
  4. Develop register of qualified practitioners for Owners Corporations to use
  5. Develop a system to coordinate building notices and orders with Municipal Building Surveyors

The topic is complex and involves many areas of expertise, so we may not have the answers however, a good resource is https://www.vic.gov.au/combustible-cladding or you can talk to your Owners Corporation Manager.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. There is much to be done!

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