I have read all the messages so far. If you are about to build, be concerned, very concerned!
My case should be a lesson to all. I completed a building project with a registered builder which included my new home. this project was completed basically on budget and only ran six weeks over the completion date. There were no real defects, but I was fairly easy going.
As a result we decided to use the same builder to redevelop my partners old home and the investment property I had purchased next door. We felt safe with the builder we had used before and contracted him for the job. It was all very friendly as we had a relationship. The contract was for eight months, he assured me that the time was ok and that he would have different teams working on each house. One of these homes was to be our retirement house and suited us down to the ground, it also incorporated many items of a personal nature.
The builder abandonned the site some two and a half years later. I had been advised throughout that I should not sack the builder as the project would stall for at least 12 months. We had four houses that were incomplete, with no certificates with a list of defects that totalled many, many pages and hundreds of thousands of dollars! This mess sitting on real estate of considerable worth. We also had a mortgage which should have been gone some 22 months earlier and now costing more as WE were in default because of the builders failure.
We claimed on our Home Owners Warranty. Five months later they denied having recieved the claim, even though we had correspondence with them. They blamed an employee who was no longer employed there. We resubmitted the claim. They denied it some 88 days later to avoid the deeming clause. Now I knew why they went through the scam of not having recieved the claim previously!
I had commenced the action in VCAT against the builder and discovered that there was at least one other claim ahead of ours in the VCAT systemfor this builder. The other claim got to judgement first, and the builder ordered to pay $200,000+ and the insurer to pay $170,000+. The builder promptly went into voluntary liquidation, and we joined the insurer to our action in VCAT.
Meanwhile we could do nothing with our houses, we had no certificates so could not sell or live in them. The bank took them from us and surprise they could sell them "as is" at a huge loss, so they took my home as well for THEIR shortfall! It was sold and I am told that I still owe the bank money! This after we owned two properties outright to start with!
I still fight VERO and they inform me that I have no claim as in their opinion we have suffered no loss. They now say that we are in the wrong jurisdiction and want us to start over again in the Victorian Supreme Court.
Our losses total $1.8 Million +
Meanwhile the builder hasnt spoken to us for over two years, and still goes home to his home every night. I am now renting.
I have sent emails to our illustrious premier and cabinet ministers and am still waiting for a reply some four weeks later. I am now taking this mater to the public and aim to embarass them all into change. I hope every consumer who has been bitten by this system will take just a half an hour EVERY day from now to write to their member of parliament, consumer watchdog, newspaper, and whoever else they can think of to get the ball rolling faster to get this system changed. It is imperative that this becomes an election issue in Victoria and stays in the spotlight until it is changed.
All new home owners other than those in Queensland need to understand that the Home Owners Warranty insurance they have is NOT WORTH THE PAPER IT IS WRITEN ON! They will only find out the limitations after they make a claim, and then it is too late