Why mouldy bread should be the least of your worries.
As a new home buyer, getting into the market today is already hard enough. Now imagine finally being able to put your foot in the door as a first home buyer, to realise you’ve purchased a mouldy, unlivable apartment?
That’s exactly what happened to Lucy Woolfman. Dripping water and toxic mould forced Woolfman and her partner to move out of their newly purchased residence. The couple were also advised to get rid of many possessions that were affected by mould.
Woolfman claims that she and her partner planned to live in the apartment for a year, then rent it out. As a result of these defects and the continuous dispute, Woolfman has lost out on years’ worth of rent. They are also out-of-pocket for storage fees to avoid contamination and legal fees. The total claim amounts to $260,000.
They have been couch-surfing and renting for years. Woolfman currently rents a small studio apartment across the street. Their apartment remains empty as they wait for something to be done about the uninhabitable property.
Meanwhile, a complex legal battle as to who should be held liable continues to be on foot. Both the developer and the body corporate are denying liability for the expensive clean up task, which is estimated to cost more than $10,000.
Determining who the liable party is even more complicated as legal proceedings against the builder were dropped in 2013. Woolfman received a settlement payout of $5,000 and signed a Deed of Settlement. This had the effect of releasing Ceerose, the developer, from any further legal action against them relating to the apartment.
As of now, it is but a race against time, and bank accounts as the costs piles up and tensions run high. The matter is listed before the District Court in May.
If you are in a similar situation, or have been affected by building defects, please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 8917 8700 to find out how we can help!