‘Something needs to be done!’: Off-the-plan home owners being ripped off
People who have purchased units off-the-plan are being forced to pay huge amounts of money well before they can move into the apartment.
Ray Hadley has been investigating a particular off the plan apartment building at Old Northern Road, Castle Hill.
The developer has told the new residents they needed to pay by 10 September, 2018.
The units aren’t safe to enter, let alone live in. Incredibly, a private certifier signed off on this property on 27 August – more than a fortnight ago.
It is now becoming common practice for developers to get a private certifier to issue an occupation certificate – whether a unit block is ready for people to live there or not.
“Just who are these minority of private certifiers who are cowboys, who are they answerable to?” says Ray.
“Something needs to be done!”
These dodgy private certifiers are essentially forcing purchasers to pay the rest of the money by a due date or face significant penalties, regardless of whether the unit is finished or not.
“They say to the people who haven’t paid… unless you start paying or settle the matter immediately, there’s be penalties… for not complying with the contract.
“Whether the bloody things finished or not it doesn’t seem to matter.
“As long as this private certifier up there, who gets paid by the developer by the way, if he wants to get his money he’ll do what the developer tells him.”
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Off the back of the comments, Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean spoke to Ray, admitting it’s a big problem that he’s been concerned about for a long time.
Last month Mr Kean released an exposure bill to toughen up the licensing laws for certifiers in New South Wales.
“There’s some cowboys there giving everyone a bad name.
“These laws that we’re about to introduce in the next month or so will crack down on the cowboys and make sure that there’s more transparency and independence in the entire system.”
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Parramatta City Councillor Lorraine Wearne called in to tell Ray a major problem with dodgy private certifiers is the council is powerless to do anything.
“State government promised to give planning power back to local government – in fact, it did exactly the opposite by signing off on private certifiers and taking all power out of our hands.”
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Grace Lawyers Senior Partner Colin Grace also tells Ray “it’s a major problem that I’ve seen coming more and more”.
Click PLAY below to hear the full call from Colin Grace