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House being lifted into position after being moved following EQs House being lifted into position after being moved following EQs CREDIT: supplied

Claimants Group Encourages Homeowners To Register On Sold Properties

Friday 14 August 2020, 11:44AM
By RedPR
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This week EQC has started contacting more than 40,000 homeowners, and the EQC Claimants Reference Group (CRG) is strongly recommending qualifying homeowners register with the On Sold (Over-Cap) programme as soon as possible.

The programme was announced in August last year and applies to homes purchased before 14 August 2019 (a year today) where owners have discovered unrepaired or missed earthquake damage. It was originally open for 12 months, and following a recommendation from the CRG, has now been extended to 14 October 2020, with no applications being accepted after that date.

CRG chair, Ali Jones, says the proactive move EQC is taking with its mailout is welcomed, and the group has been advocating for such action.

“We know who the homeowners of houses bought before August 14, 2019 are, and so to be raising this issue directly with them is a positive thing to be doing. However, if you don’t receive a letter from EQC, and bought your house before 14 August last year, we strongly recommend you register with the On Sold programme,” she says. “It’s better to be safe than sorry so if you bought a house before 14 August 2019, please complete the application form on the EQC website and check out the information on the EQC website.”

EQC’s home repair programme managed more than 150,000 different home repairs  so there could be thousands of On Sold properties needing attention**.

Jones adds that homeowners don’t need to provide proof of damage at the time of registering with the On Sold programme.

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**EQC advises that it covers the cost of remediating any failed repairs it had previously undertaken, while the On-sold programme provides cover for any unscoped earthquake damage.

For more information please contact Ali Jones on 027 2473112

The full criteria and how to apply are on EQC’s website: https://www.eqc.govt.nz/canterbury/on-sold-over-cap-properties 

The following list may help you identify possible EQ damage. It is not exhaustive and meant merely as a guide.  

  • Were the earthquake repairs managed by EQC or Fletcher EQR?
  • Put a marble or egg on your kitchen bench – on a lean?
  • Do windows / doors stick?
  • Have windows and doors been eased – that means planed /shaved, adjusted to fit and work correctly?
  • Do you have a brick chimney (even if it has been deconstructed to roof level or lower)?
  • Is there unrepaired cracking or re-cracking (of previous repairs) to the cladding? 
  • Is there unrepaired cracking or re-cracking (of previous repairs) to the exterior foundations?  
  • Can you see where the crack repairs have been previously undertaken?  If yes, does the crack repair extend below the ground level – exterior foundation level.
  • Is there unrepaired cracking or re-cracking (of previous repairs) to the internal linings (shining a bright light along wall surfaces can help identify damage)? This includes cracks reappearing in wall linings, skirtings, architrave joins.
  • Using a bright light, can you observe popped nails to the internal corners of the linings? 
  • Are there any parts of the floor that feel out-of-level when walking around the house?
  • Guttering overflowing – but is not blocked with leaves! 
  • Are there any parts of the floor that feel out-of-level when walking around the house? 
  • Do you have floor levels for your house? Were they ever taken during the assessment / repair process?

Additional:

What is the on-sold over-cap programme?

An ‘on-sold over-cap property’ has been sold since the Canterbury earthquakes, with missed earthquake damage or a failed EQC commissioned repair, that was under the $100k (plus GST) at the time of repair, but costs now will exceed cap. 

Where repair costs now exceed the EQC cap and homeowners are unable to claim these costs on their (or the previous owners’)insurance, they may be eligible for an On-Sold ex gratia payment to cover the cost of repairs to the building.

The programme provides an *ex-gratia payment that homeowners must use to repair outstanding earthquake damage to their homes.

Why is this an ex-gratia payment?

*“Ex-gratia” means it is a voluntary payment. While the EQC is administering these payments, they are not insurance payments and sit outside the EQC legislation.

The ex-gratia payment relates to the cost of repairs over the cap amount of $100k plus GST; any repairs identified that can be correctly completed (as per the EQC act level of reinstatement / repair – as when new)

What steps should homeowners take if they want to access the on-sold over-cap programme?

The EQC is encouraging all on-sold homeowners to seek independent advice as missed earthquake damage may be hard to identify and costly to repair.

While EQC insurance claims are publicly available, the EQC has warned that this information may not be a comprehensive assessment of the building and should not be relied upon without independent verification. 

What information do people need to provide?

To receive the payment, homeowners will be asked to provide a copy of the sale and purchase agreement, including any supporting documentation where the sale was conditional, and any deed of assignment they may have  They will also need building, engineering and/or geotechnical reports establishing the earthquake damage. 

 

The costs of these assessments are only covered by the On-Sold programme if the homeowner is confirmed as being eligible. 

It is really important buyers get professional advice when buying homes which may have earthquake damage.

 

More information about the CRG here

And please visit our Facebook page here or search @claimantsrefgrp