Confined to a wheelchair means life isn’t always easy for Karen Heald.
She has been left with an uncompleted home at Waterside after her builder went into liquidation in August.
The Werrington resident is one of many home owners left stranded by Complete New Homes.
Chantell Fuller first brought the matter to our Penrith sister’s paper attention in August after she couldn’t get answers about delays on her uncompleted home in Glenmore Ridge.
Ms Heald contacted the Star after reading about another affected Complete New Homes family from Ropes Crossing in the St Marys-Mount Druitt Star last month.
She chose Waterside to be closer to her sister, who lives in the estate.
Building started two years ago and was told she would be in by last Christmas.
‘‘I’ve been left with the shell of a house,’’ Ms Heald said.
‘‘I have no bathroom, no kitchen, back door or walls and a hydrotherapy spa has to be put in. Ramps also have to be put in as I’m in a wheelchair.’’
She chose Complete New Homes after reading good reviews.
‘‘Everything was great at first,’’ Ms Heald said.
‘‘Then all the sudden, something wasn’t right. We waited a long time for things to be done.’’
Concerned about the delays, Ms Heald recently asked the company if it was at risk of liquidation and was assured everything was fine.
‘‘I’m angry and disappointed but not surprised,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s disheartening. I’m just grateful there’s a roof over my house and have been paying in stages and only for the things that have completed.’’
Attempts to get a response from Complete New Homes have been unsuccessful.
Of 23 complaints NSW Fair Trading has received about Complete New Homes, 14 were reported in the past four months.
A spokeswoman said NSW Fair Trading has been working with the liquidator and the Home Warranty Insurance Fund.
‘‘Consumers who have signed a building contract with Complete New Homes should immediately lodge an insurance claim with the home warranty insurer,’’ she said.
‘‘The liquidator is working through the records of the company to identify the number of homes under construction and those that have been issued a residential building contract. The liquidator also sent information to all affected consumers asking them to contact Fair Trading for further information and advice.’’
CLICK BELOW TO READ OUR ORIGINAL STORY ON SEPTEMBER 17.
NSW FAIR TRADING ADVICE
The key questions consumers should ask traders are:
1. What is your contractor licence number?
2. Where can I see examples of your work?
3. What other jobs do you have on at the moment?
4. Who will supervise the work?
5. Do you have proper insurance?
6. How much deposit do you need?
7. When can you start the work and how long will it take?
8. What sort of contract will be used?
9. How much will it cost?
10. When are progress payments to be made?
11. What happens if the work is defective?
12. Who cleans the site?
Consumers should maintain good communication with traders, have reasonable
expectations and seek clarification in writing of anything unclear in the
contract. If it’s not in the contract or forms part of an approved variation to
the contract it may be difficult to resolve if it becomes a dispute.
The NSW Fair Trading website (fairtrading.nsw.gov.au) has useful tips and publications for
consumers thinking of or involved in building or renovating.
The building or renovating fact sheet; the Consumer building guide; and the Guide to
Standards and Tolerances are essential resources.