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The lending process for apartment owners facing leaky building repairs has been streamlined by banks.

Multi-unit buildings often have shared ownership issues and owners have struggled to get finance through the usual channels.

The New Zealand Bankers' Association (NZBA) and member banks ANZ, ASB, BNZ, HSBC, Kiwibank and Westpac have responded by developing a scheme which will be offered by all retail banks.

Unit owners will be able to use a third party escrow account to fund the repairs. This can be a combination of bank loans and their own cash.

The escrow agent will only release funds after payment instructions from the body corporate. Payments will also have to be backed by certified building professionals.

According to Bankers' Association chief executive Kirk Hope, it is a significant breakthrough.

''We appreciate the difficulties leaky unit owners have been through.'' he said. ''We're pleased to have worked out a solution for them that applies across the banking industry.''

Find out more about the Leaky unit title escrow scheme.



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