EQC Cash Settlements for Christmas? - GUEST BLOG - Peter Woods
ON A FIRST BLUSH MANY MIGHT BE TEMPTED....
By now many homeowners who are awaiting assessment and / or repair of botched EQC repairs will have received letters from EQC offering "cash settlements". On first blush many would be tempted. The homeowner gets a quote tor the required remedial works from their own contractor; this quote is submitted for approval from EQC, if approved, the homeowner receives the cash by the end of the year, to manage the repairs themselves. Good for EQC as it helps reduce the backlog of assessments and repairs of remedial work. Good for the homeowner?
We have concerns about the nature of the "cash settlement" as EQC has provided no definition or explanation of this term.
- What does "cash settlement" actually mean?
- Is the settlement the final word on the remedial works, so no further claims can be made with respect to those remedial works, even if the contractor underestimated the cost of repairs, inadequately assessed the scope of the repairs or undertook substandard repairs?
- Does a "cash settlement" preclude any further claims against EQC for other earthquake damage and botched EQC repairs which have not yet been Identified?
EQC has given homeowners until the end of October 2016 to decide whether to take the "cash settlement" or remain in the EQC managed repair queue. This does not give the homeowners much time to consider their options.
We have asked EQC for details of the following:
- What does EQC understand by the term "cash settlement''?
- lf a cash settlement is agreed does that preclude our clients from further claims for further remedial costs in respect of the same remedial works, if the assessment of the repairs ls inadequate or under-estimated?
- If a cash settlement Is agreed, what remedies, if any, will be available to our clients from EQC if the repairs are substandard?
- If a cash settlement is agreed, how does that affect potential future claims by our clients for existing earthquake damage which has yet to be Identified or assessed accurately?
We will post the answers as soon as we get them.
We now know that EQC had 10,492 remedial claims by 30 June 2016. The fastest way for EQC to resolve these claims is to "cash settle" them. In many cases, the botched assessments and repairs will need very careful reassessment so that all the earthquake damage is identified and a properly costed. repair strategy developed. This should not be rushed.
We strongly recommend that homeowners do not accept an EQC "cash settlement" unless they know that the amount paid will definitely cover the costs of repairing all earthquake damage and they get legal advice on the settlement terms•
Phone 03-379 0920