Over a year ago we picked up on the story of Paul and Linda White, a British couple who’d lived in NZ for 8 years and bought a house in Whangaparaoa, Gulf Harbour (Read Leaky Homes Issues and Stitched-Up Migrants.
The White’s had relocated from Barton-le-Clay outside Luton and worked in London, arriving in New Zealand in December 2001.
The couple have fought for eight years to get compensation for their leaky home and claimed $475,000 in a Weathertight Homes Tribunal case.
In 2009 they were awarded just $173,000 but they appealed the decision. The tribunal wanted to allocate the Whites $121,000 from an estate that sold them the house at 6 Castaway Place, plus just $52,000 from Rodney District Council, which signed it off.
The years following the purchase of the property had been a nightmare for the family and they were robbed of annual holidays by a leaking house that soaked up all of their spare time.
At the time Mrs White warned that migrants were in danger of being tricked; the couple felt they had been stitched-up and their naïvety taken advantage of when they bought the house.
Well, good(ish) news!
According to an article in the Herald the couple have been awarded compensation of $316,002 on an appeal, it’s almost $160,000 less than they’d originally claimed for but a heck of a lot more than that original award of$173,000.
The Whites are presently renting and say that they’re going to sell the property as “defective” and after 9 years of strife now want to move on with their lives:
“I made a decision to yank my family out of that wreck and rent a smaller place nearby,” said Mrs White.
“It is one of the best decisions I ever made. It has changed our perspectives so much.”We are now clearing the wreck up and are then going to sell the house as-is, well advertised as being a leaky home.”
We wish them well and hope that they get their payment for the house without any further delay, although nothing can compensate them for 9 long years of stress and anguish.
As for the property itself? we predict that it will be snapped up and the site re-developed.
It’s estimated that New Zealand’s leaky building epidemic will cost NZ$11 Billion in repairs, about 10% of the country’s GDP.
About 250,000 New Zealand homes are so damp, cold and poorly insulated that they ruin people’s health. (source)