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A recipe for demolition: the retiree, the builder, his building inspector and their Victorian Building Authority

Wrecking Ball

Two Footscray townhouses were so badly built they will have to be demolished

Two Footscray townhouses were so badly built they will have to be demolished.

Despite recent overhauls in governance and regulation of the Victorian building industry, recent bad builds and disastrous outcomes highlight the need for property owners to be both diligent and rigorous with expectations, builders and inspectors.

The issue is highlighted by the case of Mr. Tony Veleski, a retired postal worker who, in 2015 after 17 years of saving, decided to invest in building two dream town houses.

Hindsight

In hindsight its possible to see the obvious initial problem in accepting a build price half of what experts say was realistic – you get what you pay for! Beyond the low price and the implied unprofessionalism of the builder, a string of oversights, lack of proper application of the building surveyors job and failings of the Victorian Building Authority mean the townhouses will need to be demolished at a cost to Mr. Veleski of around $1 million. Expensive mistakes!

Failings

Unfortunately, the builder went broke mid-way through construction; he had employed the surveyor. The surveyor’s ongoing approval of the ‘shonky’ building work was deemed unsatisfactory by the governing Victorian Building Authority. Instead of relieving him of his duties and investigated his conduct immediately, the Authority allowed him to appraise the development a final time and only then, feeling the pressures of earlier misconduct, did he deem the development unsafe and ordered its immediate demolition.

It has left questions as to the efficacy of the Victorian Building Authority (established in 2015 to clean up this exact type of conduct), rogue builders and bad developments.

Tony Veleski in front of the two Footscray townhouses that will have to be demolished

Tony Veleski in front of the two Footscray townhouses that will have to be demolished. Photo Jason South

Lessons

The lesson to anyone looking to develop is to spend time investigating builders, don’t accept the lowest price and, importantly, employ experienced and professional building planners and surveyors to oversee the initial and ongoing proposition. It may cost a little extra but it will certainly save a lot of financial pain, heartache and anxiety.

 

This story originally appeared in the Herald Sun on June 18, 2015: //www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/inner-south/kingston-council-loses-case-against-boarding-house-forced-to-pay-17500/news-story/514f574d9e8c542f0590d1faeed8c3e9

Arky Design Planning Manager

Kate Sullivan is Arky Design’s Planning Manager. We have 14 years experience in navigating the planning, building and legal requirements for large and small development projects. If you have a development that requires the proper planning and building permits and likely legal representation then don’t do what Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqirito did. Give us a call today and start the discussion.

Kate Sullivan:
kate@arkydesign.com.au
0430 825 723