The owners of a defective apartment building in Mt Maunganui thought they had the right to repair the building before their case went to trial.
The court, however, said the show must go on.
The owners had argued that they stood to lose substantial sums of money if a 10-week trial went ahead based on estimated repair costs rather than actual repair costs.
The owners sought leave to appeal the hearing date, seeking instead to delay their trial for more than two years until the repairs to their building had been completed and the final cost of repairs was known.
Acting for the council, Rice Speir argued against any delay. The owners’ argument that they would lose substantial sums of money if the trial went ahead as scheduled was not supported by evidence.
“The court agreed that the owners’ argument was speculative and unpersuasive.”
They also argued they had a legal “right” to repair before trial. The Court agreed with us that the owners’ argument was speculative and unpersuasive.
Take home points
Owners of a defective building do not have a “right” to repair before trial. Attempts to delay a trial need to be scrutinised as it may not be in your best interests to wait for an outcome and there may not be persuasive reasons for delay. Time is not a cheap commodity.
If you want to spend some of your valuable time reading the judgment, it is here: Body Corporate 417948 & Ors v Watts & Hughes Construction Limited & Ors.