Long story, trying to put as short as possible. We built our house is Canberra with a dodgy company.
My builder (who pretends to be builder, but actually is director of company) after finishing my home after 17 months asked me the final payment.
Then we started calculating the figures of how much is pending. Builder wanted to give $3000 off the final payment as he did not fix several major defects. I said I wanted $8000 as defects are huge and also as he is quiet notorious for not responding to any sort of communication after final payment is made. He did the same through out construction, no response to calls, emails or messages. Very hard to get things fixed.
He became offended because I did not agree to his T&C, then he started sending messages saying I have to pay 24% interest rate if not paid within 3 business days from issue of Occupancy certificate and then he raised the invoice for final figure which we derived. But In first place, I did not sign practical completion after which he had to send that invoice.
Some major defects like broken skylight, no fence, plumbing issues..etc, stopped me from signing the practical completion. But builder went on to get occupancy certificate and then asked me to pay. I said I would pay if we have agreement on the defects.
Builder ignored to respond and sent my file for debt collection.
I got call from them and demanding double the amount of what was derived while calculating final statement.
What are my rights here, how should I defend this, I feel being harassed and bullied by mal-practices of this builder.