Residents of a cracking Sydney apartment complex are “homeless” after being given just one hour to evacuate.
All 122 units of Mascot Towers are currently empty after concerns about structural integrity were raised in recent days, shortly after a neighbouring building was completed.
A notice and email on Thursday warned the decade-old building may have to be evacuated before residents were told at 8pm on Friday to be out by 9pm.
“The general thing going through my mind was ‘what can I leave here and just go buy?'” renter Cameron told AAP on Saturday.
“I have enough socks and jocks to last for a little bit but apart from that, I’ve left TVs and thousands of dollars of computer equipment.
“I’m effectively homeless.”
Some residents stayed with friends, others said their employer had helped out with alternate accommodation while one family spent the night in Mascot Town Hall.
Local MP Ron Hoenig said residents have been told to prepare to be out for at least a week.
He said the owners corporation noticed some cracks in the basement and brought in its own engineers some weeks ago.
Those cracks had widened on Thursday and Friday, leading to the call to evacuate.
“It’s too early to point the finger, they’re not sure yet,” the Labor MP told reporters.
“But it’s suspicious that the new building is not even occupied and the building that’s been up for 12 years all of a sudden has substantial cracks.”
Mr Hoenig said state rail engineers inspected the damage and say there is no impact at all to the Mascot Railway Station, which runs underneath the complex.
The building manager, Building Management Australia, has been contacted for comment.
“It’s a bit annoying to not really know what is going on and move at short notice but we’ll deal with it,” renter Jade told reporters on Saturday.
It’s the second time in six months a Sydney apartment complex has been completely evacuated due to cracking and reports of movement.
Some units in the Opal Tower, which was evacuated in December soon after being built, are still uninhabitable as permanent structural remedial works continue.
An independent report released in February found critical support beams were left susceptible to “bursting” because they were under-designed and some were made from lower strength concrete.
The tower was found to be structurally sound overall but having several structural and construction issues.
The tower’s builder Icon is continuing to reimburse affected owners for rental loss but in May stopped covering costs for tenants’ alternative accommodation.