I attended a meeting with them with a company representative and am seeking other's input as I want to advise my friend correctly. I have recommended legal advice etc but posters may have some other ideas or advice to give that i can share with Bob. I won't let her meet these people by themself as they continually bully and intimidate Bob to get them to not speak up.
At the end of a progress meeting with the project manager (PM) my friend (who i will call Bob for this post) was that the meeting was a final inspection and the PM demanded Bob to sign a list of defects. Bob had organised the meeting as there were many outstanding issues dating from March this year and had organised the meeting as progress meeting with the PM. Bob went to sign the list thinking that it was just a list of things to do but then the PM started saying that handover was now completed and Bob had to pay the final bill. A completion certificate was suddenly produced, although the renovation is not completed and there are lots of incidentals (ie damage to fittings, damaged bathroom fittings etc) and things like electrical work still to be completed, as well as the installation of screens on all the doors/windows (no date given for that, just they will be ready in two weeks, although they were overhead saying that they had not ordered the screens yet). The fit out bill has not been paid as the builder has not organised an up to date bill (for the last three months) and variations on the last invoice were incorrect and the fit out had not been completed. Also a lot of electrical work is sub-standard and builder's sparky cut the wires in the original part of the house so that Bob would have to pay extra to have them fixed. Bob does intend to pay when the outstanding issues are dealt with. The builder implied that they wo't do any of these things as they want to put them on the final inspection defect list.
I told Bob don't sign as Bob was not aware that the meeting was a final inspection. Bob was told that the Certificate of Final Completion had been done (they had not been advised the inspection had taken place) and was "at the office", with an implication they won't give it until Bob has paid the final payment. They also said that unless the final payment is made they will not turn on the electricity, although there is nothing like this specified in the contract, and i have never heard of this. They also expect Bob to pay the final payment even though not all the work has been completed and no date for the final week has been given (ie it is always by next week but some of this has taken 6 months and it still outstanding). They bullied Bob into agreeing to have a final inspection (with threats etc) next week. Bob
Bob has a building inspection report that highlights some big ticket problems with the build, that the final payment will not cover ie replacement of new roof, walls and flooring, plaster etc. The build has been really bad, ie floors and walls not level, even in the new extension. Bob has been advised by legal rep to wait until after the final payment - the 90 day liability period to hand over that report. Bob foresees a VCAT case. Bob doesnt want to pay the final payment as there will still be outstanding issues next week (ie window screens, missing steps, etc) but plans to give a list of the incidentals and outstanding work and pay, advising the company that Bob is not happy with the work and then pay once these are done. Once that is done, put to the builder the very large defect list.
I am not sure if Bob should have a final inspection when there is still major stuff to be done next week but i think as they have given Bob a "completion certficate" even though the place is not completed, work is still continuing, Bob may have to go through with it. I've advised Bob to follow the contract re final inpection etc however the building manager is saying that the process is nothing like that, and the builder has yet to follow the contract when it comes to advising of the final inpection date and process.
Help? Advice?? (sorry it is long, trying to get context in!)
Edited by katpaws, 26 November 2012 - 02:46 PM.