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Our house is being held for ransom by a dodgy building company….

By bec452 - 26 March 2014 33

My partner and I are first home buyers and have purchased a house and land package in Gungahlin. We were taken in by a slick sales pitch, by a well known real estate agency, which included a computer rendered image of the completed home on allhomes.com.au. The listing and subsequent marketing all included an impressive inclusions list and continually touted “Fixed price contract”, “complete front landscaping”, “nothing else to do”…..etc. The home is now complete (minus the front landscaping as the building company deliberately took it out of the contract), we have the Certificate of Occupancy and we have paid the final installment only to be given an invoice for additional kitchen joinery! They are now refusing to give us our keys until this new cost is paid. They also refuse to give us an itemised invoice for the additional cost so we don’t even know what the additional cost was for.

Has anyone had this happen to them before whilst building in Canberra?

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Our house is being held for ransom by a dodgy building company….
1
justsomeaussie 2:16 pm
26 Mar 14
#

If you have the certificate of occupancy you own the house! So get a locksmith, change the locks and move in.

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2
Persephone 2:16 pm
26 Mar 14
#

If you have the certificate of occupancy, it’s your home and it’s safe to move in. , get a locksmith, open the doors, replace the lock and give them the big FU. Then tell them to take you to court. Fact is you have a contract that states all inclusions. and the onis is on them to taken action if you are living in your home.

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3
Apsara 2:40 pm
26 Mar 14
#

I agree – change your locks and start legal action. Don’t pay the bill until they provide the answers. If they took landscaping out of the contract, you should have a reduction in price. If you didn’t, you’d have some recourse.

This situation happened to us when we built our first home, albeit in another state. We had the marketing brochures that stated what the inclusions were and when they reneged on providing those (insulation, flyscreens etc) we started legal action and they quickly put them in. I think that and the threat of “A Current Affair” did it for us…

Good Luck!

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4
Genie 2:53 pm
26 Mar 14
#

You have a fixed price contract, unless you have something else written and agreed to in writing they cannot charge you a single cent more than your fixed price contract

Secondly if your original contract price included landscaping and this was not provided you’re entitled to a reduction on the final contract price. However if this was omited from the contact with the building company and you signed this. Then no landscaping.

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5
moneypenny 2:56 pm
26 Mar 14
#

A certificate of occupancy has nothing to do with actual ownership rights as it is only part of the documents required for a sale/ purchase. It’s purpose is to certify that the building is up to code and safe for habitation. ACTPLA has details on it here. Speak with your conveyancer.

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6
milkman 3:13 pm
26 Mar 14
#

How much of the total price have you paid?

This is a question for the lawyers. Take it to your solicitor immediately, don’t talk to the builder and definitely don’t pay.

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7
dungfungus 3:37 pm
26 Mar 14
#

justsomeaussie said :

If you have the certificate of occupancy you own the house! So get a locksmith, change the locks and move in.

If the locks are like any I have seen on new homes in Canberra you wont even need a locksmith. Just grip the shank of the entrance set with a pair of multigrips, turn and the knob will fall off. A straight blade screwdriver will act as key and replacement hardware costs about $40 and can be fixed in place by anyone who can use an iphone (to get instructions on Youtube).

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8
rosscoact 3:50 pm
26 Mar 14
#

Are they with the MBA or HIA? If so, write to them and complain with attached contracts.

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9
justsomeaussie 4:05 pm
26 Mar 14
#

Bec452 I’m also looking to build in Googong but can’t figure out how to PM you. Can you PM me with any details?

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10
Holden Caulfield 4:47 pm
26 Mar 14
#

rosscoact said :

Are they with the MBA or HIA? If so, write to them and complain with attached contracts.

And they’ll do sweet fuck all.

Oh, sorry, they might laugh at you.

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11
cranky 7:41 pm
26 Mar 14
#

rosscoact said :

Are they with the MBA or HIA? If so, write to them and complain with attached contracts.

Forget this option. These industry groups may as well be the godfathers of dodgy builders. They have no interest in supporting anyone but their members.

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12
milkman 9:59 pm
26 Mar 14
#

cranky said :

rosscoact said :

Are they with the MBA or HIA? If so, write to them and complain with attached contracts.

Forget this option. These industry groups may as well be the godfathers of dodgy builders. They have no interest in supporting anyone but their members.

+1. Go to your solicitor. This is not the time for making mistakes.

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13
Wodgie 11:16 am
27 Mar 14
#

Hey, you could give the office of regulatory services a call and speak to the fair trading guys. They might be able to help you out.

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14
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:24 pm
27 Mar 14
#

milkman said :

cranky said :

rosscoact said :

Are they with the MBA or HIA? If so, write to them and complain with attached contracts.

Forget this option. These industry groups may as well be the godfathers of dodgy builders. They have no interest in supporting anyone but their members.

+1. Go to your solicitor. This is not the time for making mistakes.

+1 from me too. This is why you engage a solicitor. Use them.

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15
rosscoact 2:06 pm
27 Mar 14
#

cranky said :

rosscoact said :

Are they with the MBA or HIA? If so, write to them and complain with attached contracts.

Forget this option. These industry groups may as well be the godfathers of dodgy builders. They have no interest in supporting anyone but their members.

With all due respect you have no idea what you’re talking about.

MBA and perhaps to a lesser extent HIA take their name seriously. I know because I used MBA very successfully in a building matter. They pursued the builder, mediated and resolved the matter.

Sometimes you need to take a quiet moment and think about things

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