Builder ordered to pay large sum to couple for house

Neil and Rick Fischer of Grafton GJ Gardner Homes outside one of their display homes.
Neil and Rick Fischer of Grafton GJ Gardner Homes outside one of their display homes. JoJo Newby

DISGRUNTLED GJ Gardner Homes customers Derek and Elizabeth Wood will have to wait another month for their money.

The Consumer Tenancy and Trader Tribunal ordered Fischer Built Pty Ltd, trading as GJ Gardner Homes, to pay a large sum of money after it found there were serious deficiencies in the home the builder supplied to the couple.

One of the key findings of the tribunal was the building was not waterproof.

The initial deadline for payment came and went on November 16, although the Woods said the builder made them an offer to pay off the debt.

"It would have taken two to three years to pay it off and we need the money," Mr Wood said.

"We're putting up with the effects of living in a damp house and the health problems that go with that."

Mr Wood said these included respiratory problems as well as the stress of the situation.

A spokesperson from NSW Fair Trading said the tribunal issued a certified copy of the money order to Mr and Mrs Wood on November 12.

"If Fischer Built P/L trading as GJ Gardner Homes has not paid Mr and Mrs Wood by the due date, they can lodge the certified copy of the money order at the local court as a judgement debt for enforcement," the spokesperson said.

"Any fees charged by the local court for enforcement action may be recoverable as part of the debt.

"If the holder of a licence fails to comply with an order of the CTTT to pay an amount of money in respect of a building claim by the due date, the licence is suspended until such time as NSW Fair Trading is satisfied that the order has been complied with. The suspension of the licence takes effect 28 days after the due date for payment."

Fischer Built managing director Rick Fischer said there was no suggestion the company was trying to avoid payment and lawyers for the parties were negotiating a payment schedule in the hope of bringing the dispute to a close. He claimed his company had been the victim of a smear campaign by a small number of disgruntled customers.

"I accept that in the past we have made mistakes and we are doing everything we can to address them individually with those concerned," he said.

Topics:  gj gardner rick fischer

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