A man said he “nearly fainted” after he discovered builders had built his family “half a house”, and claimed he wasn’t informed about the design by the company.
Bishnu Aryal, who moved from Nepal to Sydney, paid a total of AU$700,000 (approximately £392,792) for his house in Edmondson Park.
But three years after he employed the services of Zac Homes to build a custom off-plan home worth AU$322,400, he was left in shock when he discovered his free-standing build had been turned into a duplex.
The house, featured on Australian news programme A Current Affair, is flat and windowless on one side, giving it the impression of being an unfinished build.
Mr Aryal told the programme he “nearly fainted” when he first laid eyes on the house. He claims he was “not given any notice” of changes to the home design plans - which Zac Homes contradicts.
In a legal letter to A Current Affair, Zac Homes said Mr Aryal was made aware of the change and was given multiple opportunities to pull out.
The company said the construction initially started as a free-standing home but had to be changed to comply with Liverpool Council regulations that reportedly state the block had to be an attached dwelling.
Mr Aryal said that while English is not his first language, he is adamant he did not agree to half a duplex.
“It’s not a free-standing house, it’s not a duplex, it’s half a house. And it looks embarrassing,” he said, adding that he was told the house would be ready in a year, but instead, “we wait three long years”.
To add insult to injury, the mortgage advisor’s family had to move into the house during the coronavirus pandemic as Mr Aryal’s wife was pregnant and he was “losing my work”.
“We were in a really harsh situation and we needed to find a place to live because we didn’t have a place,” he said.
But the family do not have an occupation certificate, which verifies that either the council or a private certifier is satisfied that the building is suitable to occupy or satisfies requirements in Australia’s building code.
Zac Homes said it has been trying to get the certificate signed off for nine months, but the council want a guarantee that the other half of the duplex will be built and completed.
The company addressed the issue on its Facebook page and said it was “done all we can” to get the certificate issued and waived a fee of AU$23,000 to “alleviate some of [the family’s] stress”.
“It’s a mess. We know that. Even though this situation hasn’t been caused by us, we are doing what we can to ensure that the right thing is done by Mr Aryal and his family,” it added.
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