Home builders nightmare

A recent case involving a Kyogle couple shows the inadequacy of consumer protection provided to home builders in NSW under the privatised Home Owners Warranty insurance scheme.Mr and Mrs Pederson had a new house built on their property at Kyogle in 2000. A year later cracks started appearing in the house. Attempts to rectify the defects by the builder were not satisfactory and eventually a claim was made by the Pedersons on the Home Owners Warranty Insurance Policy taken out by the builder pursuant to the Home Building Act.The insurance company appointed engineers and building inspectors to inspect the house. Their reports identified the problem as being defective foundations and ultimately Vero Insurance issued an Order to Morgan Homes to rectify the foundation problems. The builder disputed this Order and commenced proceedings in the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) disputing this Order.Ultimately, Mr and Mrs Pederson were successful in their claim and the CTTT ordered the builder to demolish their house and to rebuild a new house on redesigned foundations.Unfortunately Mr and Mrs Pederson are still waiting to move into their newly rebuilt house. In the meantime, they have been living with their four children in a shed and caravan on their property and are still waiting to be reimbursed for their legal costs and other out of pocket expenses.It is crucial to obtain speedy and expert legal advice whenever building defects become evident. Further information can be obtained by telephoning Keith Graham at Grahams Lawyers Conveyancing Lismore on 6621 8144.


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