From Luxury Apartments To 'Disaster Zone': Residents Blame Rushed Construction
Residents have described how their so-called ‘luxury’ apartments became a “disaster zone” every time it rained.
Video supplied to 10 News First showed water pouring from internal ceilings and flooding a communal hallway. One apartment owner, who did not wish to be identified, said there would be “bins and bins of water” that would need to be emptied each night.
Walls and ceilings became covered in mould and internal wiring was ruined. Residents have been told insufficient sealing on the building’s roof was to blame. They claim basic construction work had been rushed.
The thirty apartments inside Garland Lofts in the high-density Sydney suburb of Zetland now sit empty. Lawyers acting for the owners corporation ordered an immediate evacuation shortly before Christmas, after independent inspectors discovered the constant flooding had severely damaged critical fire cladding.
Inspectors for the City of Sydney Council confirmed that finding after visiting the complex at 19 Gadigal Avenue in February. Council only became aware of the evacuation after being notified by residents of a neighbouring complex.
“The building is unsafe and unfit for occupation,” the Council’s executive manager of development Andrew Thomas said.
“We’re aware that the water protection system in the building has failed, which has led to a lot of water getting into the building and caused structural damage.”
Utilities have since been cut off to the development.
Local neighbour Kristin Westwood said despite the “massive water proofing issues” residents were shocked when told to evacuate.
“They were incredibly upset,” she said.
“There were a lot of residents that were renting. Some of them had animals and had to find alternative accommodation”
Built in 2009, the apartments had been marketed as luxury park-side living. Records show one of the single bedroom lofts initially sold for $479,000. According to realestate.com.au it would now be worth between $650-$800,000.
Chambers Russell Lawyers is now acting on behalf of owners as they seek damages. Partner Scott Chambers would not comment when contacted today.
The building’s developer, Garland 204 Pty Ltd, was liquidated in 2014. A listed director Phillip Bartlett is now the owner of P + J Projects Pty Ltd which built a 71 apartment complex next door at 17 Gadigal Ave. 10 News First unsuccessfully attempted to reach Mr Bartlett and calls to P + J Projects went unanswered.