Charlie, Justin and Kelly Clark, stand in front of their house, which was constructed by GJ Garnder Homes. Kelly holds the plans for the outside of their
Charlie, Justin and Kelly Clark, stand in front of their house, which was constructed by GJ Garnder Homes. Kelly holds the plans for the outside of their "dream home". Photo JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner Jojo Newby

Home dispute unresolved after tribunal hearing

A LANITZA couple in dispute with a builder over what they claim is shoddy workmanship on their home must subpoena a government department for documents to help prove their case.

In a Consumer Trading and Tenancy Tribunal hearing in Grafton yesterday, Christine and Stewart Souter were given 28 days to get documents to support claims brickwork at their home was of poor standard.

The couple had been taken to the tribunal by Grafton G J Gardner Homes franchise owners Rick and Neil Fischer to recover a final payment for their home in Parker Rd.

But the couple, who lived in a demountable building on their property for 53 weeks while their 18-week-contract home was built, has refused to pay.

Outside the tribunal, Mrs Souter said she was surprised she needed to subpoena the NSW Department of Fair Trading for a report of an inspection of the couple's home.

"In June last year during an on-site meeting a Fair Trading inspector looked at the brickwork and said it did not meet Australian building standards," Ms Souter said.

After negotiating with the builder the couple said they reluctantly agreed to have the house rendered to hide the brickwork.

"The renderer told us at one point near my bedroom the render is a foot thick," Mrs Souter said.

She said the department would not give her the report from the meeting because it is no longer relevant to the state of the building.

Yesterday tribunal head Ron Harris advised the couple to subpoena the document from the department.

"He gave us 28 days to get our papers in order and then the Fischers have 28 days to respond to them," Mrs Souter said.

Attempts by The Daily Examiner to contact Mr Fischer for a comment were unsuccessful.



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