The state government passed a Bill last month providing it with greater powers to chase “dodgy” builders for combustible cladding.
The Building Amendment (Cladding Rectification) Bill 2019 includes a provision to allow the State to pursue litigation in cases where it pays for rectification costs.
It said any financial returns would be reinvested into the $600 million cladding rectification program, administered by Cladding Safety Victoria.
The legislation also introduced the building levy announced in July, which will be used to fund $300 million of the program – a move questioned by the Property Council of Victoria in light of a slowing economy. The levy applies to new permits for multi-storey buildings valued at more than $800,000.
With owners’ corporations (OCs) already having the power to sue dodgy builders, many have questioned the benefits of the legislation.
“It does mean that owners won’t be stuck with legal bills for unsuccessful claims, but presumably the government won’t attempt to pursue cases where they are not successful, so that benefit is also illusory,” a cladding expert said.