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Lawyers pursue class action over combustible cladding

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Law firm Adley Burstyner and building inspector Roscon Property Services are building a class action against construction companies over losses caused by the use of combustible cladding in residential buildings.

Principal Lawyer David Burstyner told the losses may include premiums on house and contents insurance, which have increased dramatically for residents living in affected or potentially affected buildings.

It is not entirely clear which buildings are affected and which are not, he says.

Losses may also include the costs to residents of interim measures such as installing sprinkler systems, declines in property values and the cost of replacing combustible cladding.

Adley Burstyner is seeking expressions of interest from affected residents.

The firm is confident it has found a way to conduct the claim that does not require all benefitting owners’ corporations to comply with requirements in the Owner’s Corporation Act for a special resolution to pass with a 75% majority.

A large number of affected property owners are passive about the combustible cladding issue or don’t sit on the owners’ corporation committee, Mr Burstyner says. They are either too scared to take action or are ignoring the problem.

He says the class action is “the only recourse” left to owners. The Victorian Supreme Court has ruled the state’s building authority cannot force builders to rectify combustible cladding issues for occupied buildings.