I bought a home in West Auckland in December 2018 and throughout last year noticed some cracks devoloping on the outside

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Customer: Hi there. I bought a home in West Auckland in December 2018 and throughout last year noticed some cracks devoloping on the outside walls. Being from South Africa we seeked advice from friends that said homes in NZ do tend to shift and just to keep an eye on it. It got a lot worse and have now had contractors quote to fix it. Quotes that range between 17k and 28k. Insurance has said that unless we can prove otherwise they classify this as land subsidence and do not cover that. My question is, am I 100% responsible for this?Shouldn't someone have educated us on the risk or seen the potential likihood of a near 30k problem on the horizon. Do I have recourse with previous owner, real estate agent, property lawyer, builders report / Lim report companies, council? I'm so sorry to bombard you with information but the panic is incredibly real. I don't know where I'll find that kind of money.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No, nothing more than builders quotes.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so, maybe one last question for you, how does this process work. Finacially I mean.
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 1 hour 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You are best to start with getting an geotechnical engineering report and also check the LIM report from the council to see if that has anything about subsidence concerning your land. So finding the cause is the first task. If it was defective construction, that could possibly be the builder if the house was built fairly recently. That would also enable you to approach your insurer and see if that is covered under your policy.

Another place to check is the EQC-which deals with landslides and similar issues. They may be able to cover if is a landslip.

In your research you may be able to find out if the damage was known to the previous owner or the land agent which could also be somewhere to look for repair costs

That is a start

Customer
Hi there Chris. Thank you so much for such a speedy response, and with a lot of advice I hadn’t thought of. I haven’t done a current Geotech report but the Lim report details Geotech info and it all seems to check out. Does that mean someone may have not done their job? I’ll definitely check out the EQC though, I didn’t even know that existed. I’ve attached the LIM report incase I may be missing something. I
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

My quick check of the LIM report doesnt throw up anything obvious. But a geotech engineer may be able to find out the cause. I see the house is built some time ago so it is unlikely to be a construction defect. I wonder if the very dry conditions have caused some subsidence?

Customer
We’ve been procrastinating on a Geotech purely because it feels like it’d cost a couple thousand to find out what we already suspect but I guess we should bite the bullet and just get it done. Yeah the two house lifting companies that quoted us to repair it said exactly the same thing. In fact they’re certain of it. Thanks again for the advice mate. I’ll
Let you know how I go. Have a great weekend.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The problem could be ongoing so the money for the expert might pay in the long run
Customer
Sorry for the late response mate. Yeah that seems like the best plan. Thanks again. And have a great weekend.
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