HOMEOWNERS have been left with new build homes without roofs and are in thousands of pounds in debt after being told they cannot move in.
Josh Curmi, 29, paid £6,000 as bail on a three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia.
He and his wife now have a vacant lot after their builders, Snowdon Developments Pty Ltd, refused to start construction.
According to news.com.au, Snowdon is facing financial difficulties due to rising costs and is being pursued by 15 creditors over debts totaling £1.4million.
Josh, like hundreds of Australians in the same situation, worries about what will happen to their money if Snowdon goes under.
“$10,500 (£6,000) is a big amount of money and we’re going to lose the $15,000 government grant so it’s a big amount of money to lose,” he told the publication.
“Covid has been blamed for many things, their entire office has had Covid five times even though they have been working from home,” he added sarcastically.
Josh has connections in the construction industry and what he found out has him worried about Snowdon.
“I know some people in the construction industry who Snowdon owes money to,” he said.
“I hear a lot of site managers have left.”
Australian high school teacher Rebecca Cook bought a property in May 2020 and spent £25,000 to move into her new home by March.
But only a panel and frame are finished and she still lives with her parents.
“I want them to finish my house,” she told news.com.au.
“Prices are skyrocketing, I don’t have the funds to spend another $50,000 on a build.”
She said she was fed up with the “excuses” her builder Snowdon was giving for the delays.
“There’s always an excuse, every time there’s a natural disaster, piggyback it,” she said.
“They told me last year my lumber was ordered in September, they said it was stuck on the water, the water doesn’t have enough space to store all the lumber.”
Rebecca, like the others, bought a plot of land and a house package through a developer who then hired Snowdon to build it.
But when they noticed that the contractor kept delaying and demanding payment even though construction hadn’t even started, concerns began to mount.
Primary school teacher Mira Vose and her husband Antony, both 40, have spent more than £17,000 on down payments on a partially built house.
“Either they (Snowdon) go broke or they build the house, the longer they hesitate the more they bleed and the more we bleed,” she told news.com.au.
“We pay two mortgages.”
She said Snowdon asked for payment before they started building the house, which made Mira worried they were running into payment difficulties.
Customer service rep Saurabh Mittal paid a £6,200 deposit on a £125,000 house in Tareit to be built by November this year after the developer from whom he bought land chose Snowdon as his builder.
“They screwed me in every way, I cry day and night,” he said.
Saurabh saved six years to buy the land to build his first home and visited the site regularly.
“Every week I went (to the construction site) full of excitement. They cleared the lot, they put an outline in the block,” he said.
But then nothing happened and Saurabh was given the cold shoulder.
“For years I saved this money and now I’m at a big zero.”
Creditors are said to be asking the state Supreme Court to issue a liquidation order to Snowdon to force the company into liquidation “for bankruptcy.”
One of the creditors is the Office of State Revenue for £150,000 and the largest amount owed is for a roofing company awaiting payment of £530,000.
Some of the money Snowdon owes to creditors is understood to have already been paid out after they were taken to courts including the State Revenue Office and Casabene Plumbing.
Builders claim other expenses can be paid after July 4 once they have sold a property.
But experts fear selling an asset to pay down debt is worrying.
Association of Professional Builders (APB) co-founder Russ Stephens said: “It simply shows that the builder does not have enough working capital to continue its operations.”
Mr Stephens warned that these were the first signs a company was about to go bust.
Australia’s construction industry has been hit hard, with dozens of companies shutting down amid rising costs of building materials and the ongoing supply chain crisis.
The Sun Online had reached out to Snowdon for comment.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5604053/residents-newbuild-no-roof-snowdon-builders/ Our newly built homes don’t even have roofs – we’re £50,000 in debt and can’t move in