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Sydney and NSW building owners on notice as new combustible cladding bans come into force today

Sydney and NSW building owners on notice as new combustible cladding bans come into force today

Published on August 15, 2018

Strata corporations and building owners must act immediately to avoid million dollar fines and possible imprisonment as a result of a new ban on combustible cladding that comes into force in NSW today.

As of today any cladding with a core comprised of more than 30% polyethylene is banned in NSW, with limited exceptions.

The state-wide prohibition affects any form of the combustible building material used in external cladding, external walls, external insulation, facades or rendered finishes for certain multi-storey residential and commercial premises.

The ban is retrospective and applies to buildings built before the ban came into force as well as those currently under construction as well as any future development.

Building owners and strata bodies of affected buildings can now be issued rectification orders under the Building Products (Safety) Act requiring them to undertake remediation and removal work.

If rectification orders are not acted upon corporations and strata body directors can face significant fines and in the case of individuals, imprisonment.

Using a product after it has been banned or failing to act on a building product rectification order may result in fines for corporations of up to $1.1 million for a corporation (with $110,000 continuing per day for each day the offence continues).

For individuals fines of up to $220,000 or imprisonment for 2 years or both (with $44,000 continuing per day for each day the offence continues), apply.

“The clock is now ticking for building owners and strata corporations to act and comply with this NSW wide ban”, said Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers’ Ben Robertson.

“It is clear that rectification orders will be issued for affected buildings obliging building owners to take action now to avoid fines and prison penalties.

“And even if no rectification notice has been issued, building owners and their representatives may be held personally liable if appropriate action isn’t taken and banned combustible building material is permitted by them to remain in existing buildings or used in new ones.

“It is very important that building owners seek legal advice as to their potential liability and how they can comply with these new measures”, said Mr Robertson

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