Friday, July 28, 2006

Leaky homes and defective goods

The government is planning to require that buildings which have been the subject of a claim to the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service have the fact noted on the title - and owners are outraged. But while I can understand their outrage - who wants to see their home devalued? - I don't have any sympathy for their desire to hide behind secrecy. Noting the problem on the title means that potential buyers will know exactly what they are getting, and adjust their price accordingly. By contrast, the only beneficiaries of secrecy are the unscrupulous who want to dump their damaged homes on some sucker and then laugh all the way to the bank. We don't allow anyone else to knowingly sell defective goods - so why should we treat leaky homes any differently?