BILLIONAIRE developer Harry Triguboff is at the centre of a legal battle with a body corporate over who should foot a $2 million repair bill for one of his Southport residential high rises.

The body corporate for Brighton on Broadwater Shores has taken Supreme Court action against Triguboff companies Karimbla Construction Services and Karimbla Properties (No.3) after alleging it was being landed with payment of defects in the apartment building, located at 1 Como Crescent.

The dispute comes as Triguboff’s latest development at its Brighton on Broadwater project, a 55-level tower known as Sundale, has sprouted from the ground.

Triguboff’s group entity Meriton Apartments has hit back at the claims saying the costs of repair are a fraction of that claimed by the body corporate and that it has already offered to rectify the alleged defects.

Brighton on Broadwater Shores was completed in 2005 and the body corporate alleges the developer handed it over with “significant defects”, including water penetration in some apartments from the podium roof.

The body corporate says the issue has led some apartments to remain untenanted for extended periods, citing an instance where one tenant had to move out of the master bedroom because water was dripping on his head as he slept.

It has alleged that the defects were not remedied despite notices being served to the Triguboff companies prior to the expiry of the building warranty period.

“To date, the body corporate has spent in excess of $1million on rectifying building defects and the legal dispute with both Karimbla entities,” reads a statement issued on behalf of the body corporate by its legal representative, OMB Solicitors.

“The body corporate has received quotations to rectify the outstanding defects – the costs of rectification is estimated to be between $1 million and $1.5 million.

“Since the dispute with the Karimbla entities began, the apartment owners have been required to pay significantly increased body corporate levies.

“The body corporate anticipates having to expend further funds to bring the building up to the standard to which it should have been delivered at the end of construction.

“Despite the obvious financial burden that the legal proceedings are having on the body corporate for Brighton on Broadwater Shores, the committee remains determined to see the legal proceedings to conclusion.

“The committee wants other bodies corporate to note that they do not simply have to give in to the pressure of big property developers.”

Meriton says it is unable to comment extensively on the matter as it is still before the courts.

“The body corporate’s claim far exceeds the reality of the works involved,” a company spokesman says.

“We estimate that the actual costs entailed are a minute fraction of their claim – approximately $90,000 of work.

“We are the biggest builder in the country – naturally, we want to fix it and we offered to return to the site to rectify these alleged defects.”

The Sydney-based Triguboff, with an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion, has been developing high rises on the Gold Coast for more than 30 years.

Brighton on Broadwater on the former Sundale shopping centre site has been his sole development focus on the tourism strip over the past decade.

The $400 million Sundale tower currently under construction is the last, and largest, to be built in the Brighton complex which comprises nine stages ranging from three-storey walk-ups to high rise apartments.

When completed, the Sundale tower will become Southport’s tallest building with 551 residential and retail units. The building will be anchored on the ground floor by a Woolworths supermarket.

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