Bought Property with Slab Heave, What Are My Options ?
Last edited 18/08/2017 - 13:11 by 1 other user
We bought this 6 years old home last year (May 2016) as out first home.
We hired a Building inspector of a well-known franchise to do Pre-purchase inspection, and got report which said only minor defects found (few cracks above cornice, few cracked roof tiles, few cracks here and there, etc.)
We don't have an internal access to Garage, so few weeks back i got a tradie to check its possibility.
While looking around he spotted cracks above cornice in few different places and a squeezed brick expansion joint from outside.
He recommended me to get a building inspector in as he afraid, it could be slab heave, so I called my home insurance to send one.
Below part will sound bit unbelievable.
I was googling what slab heave is, came across an image which looked like my kitchen area. It was of a thread from Homeone forum and was posted in 2014.
They were discussing about slab heave issues in Melbourne's west etc. The person who had posted that image was an independent Building inspector.
I contacted that guy and asked him is it street X from suburb Y, he replied me yes with street number 14 (my property).
It turned out previous owners got him to inspect the property in 2014, after finding cracks above cornice on several places.
His finding was slab was dished (middle part sank) causing such cracks.
I consulted him again and he gave me report from 2014 as well.
Previous owners somehow hid those cracks and sold it to me.
I bought this property, because I was given the report by building inspector of a well-known franchise saying no major defects found.
We had a clause in our contract, which could make contract void if major defects found.
To make it clear, I will post details with Timeline
Dec 2010 House got an occupancy permit.
Jan 2011 given on rent as it was an investment property.
May 2014 major cracks were found above cornice, they consulted an independent building inspector.
Mar 2016 House was put out in market for sale.
May 2016 we bought the property after getting a green signal from our building inspector.
Jul 2017 we were told about possible slab movement by a tradie and were asked to involve someone professional.
Aug 2017 I got that independent Building inspector in do condition report again.
I have also contacted the builder, as it would be under warranty, they are sending someone next week.
**What other options I should consider? Please share your advice? Thanks.**
Update 1: Gave out all details to leading law firm and took phone appointment, Lawyer will give me call tomorrow to discuss it further.
Update 2: Today builder's guy came, he blamed everything on landscaping done by previous owners. Waiting to hear from the insurer of my building inspector.
Got lawyer's phone appointment postponed tomorrow. Want to discuss does case has any merit? whether I should go ahead or repair, sell & leave.
Update 3: Spoke to Lawyers, they are recommending me few engineering and plumbing tests, so they can understand the case and recommend me, whether we should go ahead or not? Total cost including their fees would be around $7000. Don't want to jump right away with these guys though. Made an appointment with one more lawyer next week. Meanwhile waiting for documents(Building plans, Soil test & engineering) from the council.
The Builder has done some work in 2014 after those major cracks, I asked the builder copy of the report on that.
They refused on privacy grounds as I am not the first owner of that house and those document might have their name written on it.
Thinking to register a complaint on DBDRV soon, as they do send building inspector for free to get the second opinion.