Some houses that were built between the mid-1990s to early 2000s are suffering from Leaky Homes Syndrome; they were built in a way that doesn’t comply with the current New Zealand Building Code.
New Zealand has thousands of homes and apartment buildings with flat roofs that were built with plaster or fiber cement cladding that have either no, or poor drainage and ventilation systems that allow water to be trapped in the framework which over time, rot the house from within the walls. The Building Act of 1991 wasn’t strict enough so was later replaced with the Building Act of 2004 which set out the guidelines on how new buildings and renovation work should be carried out to keep houses watertight.
Water can find its way into anything if you give it half a chance, having a watertight home is the #1 requirement when it comes to a warm, healthy, living environment. Once water gets through the roof and into the framing behind the cladding it causes rot and damp that could lead to severe decay, structural damage and health issues.
Some houses have extensive damage with the only way of repairing it would be complete reconstruction and recladding. Unfortunately, the longer a house is left with moisture settling in, the more it will deteriorate and the higher the cost to repair.
There are many cases where the damage is so bad that the cost of repair is equivalent to building a new house, so removing the house and rebuilding a new, watertight house that meets the current Building Standards or selling at near land value is the better and sometimes only option. Selling a leaky home can be a long and frustrating process, so the sooner the Seller acknowledges that their property will not sell for what a “healthy” property would sell for, in the same area, the better. Often Buyers of leaky homes are builders or developers who are willing to take the risk, and reclad the dwelling themselves.
By law, Sellers must disclose to the Buyer details of any defects they know about the property.