AUSTRALIAN MAN `NEARLY FAINTED' WHEN HE REALIZED HE PAID $700,000 FOR `HALF A HOUSE'
An Australian man says he nearly fainted when work finally finished on his custom-built home and he realized he really only had “half a house.”
Bishnu Aryal, who moved to Sydney from Nepal, reportedly saved for 10 years to buy a plot of land in Edmonson Park for AUS$398,950 ($388,400). In 2016, he hired Zac Homes to build him a detached home for AUS$322,400 ($313,900), news.com.au reports.
What he got is a strange-looking structure with a blank grey wall on its left side where windows or another house should be.
“It's not a freestanding house, it's not a duplex, it's half a house. And it looks embarrassing,” Aryal told A Current Affair. "They were promising us the house will be ready in one year time, but we wait for three long years. When we come to see the progress of the building, we see our building was different to what we were expecting.”
What makes matters worse for Aryal is that his home still does not have an official occupation certificate, making it illegal to occupy. Zac Homes said it has been working to get the home certified for nine months and will keep trying.
The builders told A Current Affair that the local council required that any home built on Aryal's plot of land be an attached dwelling. They say they sent the updated plans for a duplex to Aryal, who signed off on them, and he was given multiple opportunities to back out of the contract — including after plans for the second half of the duplex fell through.
“The fact is the owners of the lot next door have failed to proceed with building their home and that's why the certifier has continued to refuse to issue an Occupation Certificate,” the company said in a statement posted to Facebook.
Aryal maintains that he never signed off on the change and that he “trusted the process,” forwarding all documentation to his bank.
Later, when he checked on the progress of his home, he realized something had gone wrong.
“I called the supervisor and asked him what's going on, why is the house like this? And he said `it's a duplex, semi duplex,' and I nearly fainted that day,” Aryal said.
The mystery widened after two more half-homes were spotted in the same neighbourhood, both seemingly unoccupied. It's unclear whether Zac Homes built the other two “half houses,” but neighbours told news.com.au that they assume the same company is responsible since the homes look similar to Aryal's.
Meanwhile, Aryal said he was forced to move in to his incomplete home despite not having an occupation certificate because his family had nowhere else to live after the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“My wife, she was having a baby, I was losing my work, we were in a really harsh situation and we needed to find a place to live in because we didn't have a place,” he said. "I want to raise awareness so other people don't get into my situation."