Opal Tower’s builder Icon has agreed to reimburse landlords for rental losses while remediation work takes place.
Icon will start remediation work on the damaged apartments, which is estimated to take 13 weeks, with owner-investors understood to be reimbursed at “market rate”.
Now four months on since the Opal Tower saga began, almost half of the apartments in the tower are still empty.
While some residents of the tower have returned to their homes, about 172 apartments of the building’s 392 residences are still unable to be occupied until remediation works are completed.
The agreement for remediation works to finally begin follows Friday’s general meeting held by the owners corporation, a collective body made up of the tower’s residents, which saw the owners give formal consent for the builder to begin.
Icon’s parent company, Kajima Corporation of Japan has also agreed to an extended warranty on major defects in Opal Tower for 20 years; negotiated up from six years.
Last year, on Christmas eve, residents of more than 300 apartments were forced to evacuate their homes after reports of cracking and a “loud bang”.
The incident prompted the state government to commission a report on the building, by three of NSW's senior independent engineers.
Many of the tower's occupants were stranded in temporary accommodation following evacuation of the tower, and landlords have since struggled to retain tenants throughout the process.
BCA Logic will be engaged as new certifiers for the building, taking over from the McKenzie Group.
While existing major defects relating to wind noise will be investigated by independent engineering firm Arup Group.
Proposed remediation works will be developed by all parties, including WSP, Rincovitch and Bates Smart, supervised by the owners' corporation's structural engineer Cardno.