The builder of a Braddon apartment complex has lost a High Court bid to have a $1 million court order for defective work overturned.
Michael Koundouris will now have to pay about $1.4 million to the owners corporation of the Lagani Apartments development in Fawkner Street in Braddon.
Mr Koundouris applied to the High Court for special leave to appeal against a decision in the ACT Court of Appeal, but two judges on Friday refused the application.
The application was the final legal avenue for Mr Koundouris who is now facing enforcement proceedings in the ACT Supreme Court.
The owners corporation sued the developer in the ACT Supreme Court for a number of defects on the building, including significant waterproofing defects on balconies, in bathrooms, and the roof, structural-steel corrosion, and cracked masonry.
The owners said the water leaks and other defects became obvious in 2001 and Mr Koundouris had investigated and conducted repairs on the building between 2001 and 2009.
The owners alleged the repairs were inadequate and the defects remained.
The critical factor in the case was time as the building had been completed in 2000 but the lawsuit not launched until 2010.
The statutory warranty period for the building work in the ACT is five years.
But the parties dispute when that five-year period should start.
Mr Koundouris argued the case was out of time as it had been brought outside the warranty period and the Limitations Act.
His lawyers said time should start accruing when the owners either knew or ought to have known about the problems with the building.
However, the owners claimed there had been a continuing breach or a series of breaches of the warranty as the builder never fixed the problems with the apartment complex.
Justice David Mossop found the builder was liable to the owners corporation for the damages in respect of breach of statutory warranties and ordered he pay $328,153.
Both parties appeal to the ACT Court of Appeal, which, in May last year, found in favour of the owners corporation.
The amount of damages was increased to more than $1 million.
Mr Koundouris then applied to the High Court for leave to appeal against that decision.
Justice Geoffrey Nettle and Justice Michelle Gordon rejected the application and ordered costs against Mr Koundouris.
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