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Residents of a central Auckland leaky apartment building are facing a $17.5 million repair bill.

But a stoush has broken out with a property development company over who should pay what and the project has hit a wall.

Leaks were first discovered around balcony areas at the Luna Apartments in the Auckland suburb of Grafton in 2011. An initial quote of $3m was given to repair the building, which apartment owners would pay for.

But in November last year, residents were hit with a bombshell when they were told that the entire building would need to be re-clad at a cost of at least $17.5m.

Architects designed a "curtain" structure that would cover all but one side of the building in glass. The Herald understands that the average cost to residents would be $150,000 each.

One Luna resident, believed the cost of the project would actually exceed $20m, given the remedial work that had already gone into it.

Property manager Theunis Judeel, who at one stage managed 12 apartments at Luna but now manages six, said there was a great deal of consternation among residents at the AGM.

But real estate private equity firm Lamont & Co, which owns 53 carparks in the complex, opposed the plan. Lamont would have been required to pay $800,000 under the proposal.

Because Lamont has separate titles for each of its carparks, its had 53 votes out of a total of 175 at the body corporates AGM where the project was voted on. Lamont's lawyer Tim Rainey said the body corporate was proposing "quite a radical solution to address what are some fairly isolated areas of leaks around some decks".

Body corporate chairman Campbell McGill said in a statement that its decisions regarding the project were based on information and recommendations from expert consultants retained for that purpose.

"The cost of the project has escalated significantly as a result of additional defects in the building which have come to light as a result of investigations carried out by the body corporate's expert consultants," he said.

Source: NZHerald

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