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Homebuyers told to do their own research to avoid cowboy developers

The NSW Building Commissioner’s capacity to crack down on dodgy developers is being called into question.

The state has seen a spate of defective high-rise buildings, with the commissioner identifying yet another problematic apartment block last week.

Building Commissioner David Chandler tells Ray Hadley buyers need to be prepared to research potential cowboys before putting down a deposit. He also advised them to inspect the building, and refuse to settle for inadequate work.

Even Googling the developer’s past work can save a lot of heartache, he says.

“I’m not trying to shirk responsibility for the fact that we’ve got to turn this industry around… But there’s something that consumers can do to help themselves and help us to take this industry in a better direction.”

Mr Chandler also tells Ray that concerned buyers should reach out for help when they think they’re being ripped off, because his office is willing to ‘go in to bat’ for them.

Ray responded, “People get scared, they’re getting told ‘if you don’t settle you’ll lose your deposit’ and all the rest of it, but now you’re offering some hope to these people.”

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NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge has dismissed Mr Chandler’s claims, pointing out that the NSW Building Commissioner’s office is staffed by only six people.

“The idea that this one man is going to go out and resolve disputes between all of the apartment purchases and developers and builders across the state is fanciful.”

Mr Shoebridge also criticised the notion that homebuyers should be responsible for finding and reporting defects, especially where shonky work is invisible to the non-expert eye.

“We’re putting the cart before the horse, so to speak, aren’t we?” Steve Price agreed.

Listeners have shared their own horror stories with Ray and Steve, revealing the extent of the problem.

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ImageGetty/Anton Petrus