Opting out — an update

16/08/2012 Comments Off on Opting out — an update

If you’ve been following our Christchurch earthquakes saga, you’ll know that we opted out of the Fletcher programme for our repairs.

We enlisted the help of a builder for managing the opt-out and liaising with EQC. One of the key selling points for us was that this company could plan around when our property is vacant. As accidental slumlords, we were keen not to annoy our tenants any more than necessary. Plus, there are some uncertain legal issues about responsibility for condition of the property and providing alternative accommodation. Not stuff I want to deal with.

Our builder reviewed the EQC documents and checked out the property. What with this and that (y’know, the thousands of aftershocks), there are a few extra bits to add to the list of repairs. I will note that the builder also removed at least one piece of work. In addition, the builder very sensibly wants to look at our concrete slab. This was an issue I raised earlier with EQC and Cera. Cera has deemed our land A-OK as long as the concrete slab is done right; EQC has refused to check out the slab. So…who’s now liable if the slab isn’t alright? Inquiring minds want to know.

The current tenancy is coming to an end. We lined up the builder to check things out. They did, and submitted the required paperwork to EQC.

Turns out, EQC had changed the process.

So, the builder had to make a new submission under the new process. Now, the date attached to the submission is the new date, not the original date. So, EQC is working to the new date, which gives them more time to evaluate the submission and respond. They haven’t given an indication of when they will get back to us or what their ruling might be on the additional damage.

Meanwhile, the tenancy is running out. We had organised a 6-week window between the current tenants and a new possible tenant. We have to make a call — find a new tenant ASAP who can move in earlier, or wait for EQC approval and risk losing 6 weeks of rent and no repairs to show for it.

Meanwhile, too, the builder has the workers and subcontractors lined up, ready to go in two weeks. If our work falls through, they’ll have to reorganise the work schedules. I don’t know what it means for their business, but it can’t be good for the stress levels.

That’s the story so far — lots of jaw-jaw but no fix-fix. Might have to wait another year for that.

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