July 2017

Ballarat Builder Leaves Dozens of Homeowners in Limbo

Dozens of homeowners in Victoria who have signed a contract with a Ballarat builder were left with their houses unfinished and some with significant defects and complaints stretching back as far as 2008. But they are now left with little hope of compensa on due to a shortcoming in the consumer law.

Complainants include a young family yet to move into their new home 10 weeks out from the birth of their second child, and a couple whose home was made up of a patchwork of different-coloured bricks laid by three separate bricklayers. In March 2017 more than 400 homeowners in Victoria, including about 50 in Ballarat, were left in the lurch when the Geelong-based builder went into administration.

The Home Warranty Insurance system which protects consumers offers no coverage in a case like Mr Vidaić’s, who was told his only option was to take the builder to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Eddie Vidaić said that the dream of living in his own home he signed to build in 2014 was completely gone. He now only hopes a sale price will cover his outstanding loan. He said three plumbers abandoned the build because they hadn’t been paid.