Research on serious building defects in NSW strata communities

Last updated: 06 October 2021

The Office of the Building Commissioner partnered with Strata Community Association NSW to examine the experience of NSW strata communities with serious building defects.

On this page

Key information

  • The purpose of the report is to produce clear data on the problem of serious building defects in class 2 residential apartment buildings in NSW.

  • The report found 39% of strata buildings had experienced serious defects in the common property.

  • The research forms part of the Construct NSW strategy to reform the building and construction industry.

Image of icon of computer and people

Key findings

  • The most commonly occurring serious defect related to waterproofing, affecting 23% of surveyed buildings, followed by fire safety (14%). 
  • Around 47% of buildings with serious defects were able to achieve resolution. 
  • Only 15% of buildings with serious defects were reported to Fair Trading.
  • Serious defects generally led to significant financial and emotional stress for homeowners, tenants and strata managers.

About the report

Strata managers of recently completed residential apartment buildings completed an online questionnaire as part of this research. Two follow-up interviews were conducted with strata managers to gather deeper insights into the experience of managing buildings with serious defects.

Serious defects were defined as those relating to the five key building elements - waterproofing, fire safety systems, structure, enclosure, and key services - as defined in recent class 2 building legislative reforms. It was important for this research to focus on serious defects as they can have a significant impact on safety and amenity.

The report is a partnership between the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner and Strata Community Association NSW.

Download the report

Front cover of the report












Download (PDF, 2.37 MB)


Top of page