Getting a new house renovated is always stressful, or at least, an extremely hectic time.
And it seems like a couple experienced the former firsthand after their contractor allegedly abandoned their new home’s renovation after they had paid $46,000 for the renovation works.
The contractor had initially promised that the renovation works would be completed in a month, but disappeared afterwards, causing the couple’s family of six having to live in a half-renovated house.
Here’s what happened.
Contractor is Couple’s “Distant Relative” but Abandoned Job Halfway
When speaking to Shin Min Daily News for an article that was published on 27 October, Jenn told reporters that she and her husband had bought the 4-room flat located at 762 Pasir Ris Street 71 in February this year.
After purchasing the flat, they got to know their current contractor through their niece.
According to Jenn, a 45-year-old housewife, the contractor is a distant relative.
She then contacted him, who quoted her a price of roughly around $45,000. He added that they would start the renovation works in early September and complete renovating the house before October started.
Jenn added that the contractor proceeded to inform her afterwards that they would need to purchase the necessary materials in advance in order to “manage their budget” due to inflation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hence, Jenn paid him $30,000 on 1 March this year as a deposit.
She also recalled how the contractor asked her repeatedly to pay the remainder of the costs after renovation works began on 5 September.
Eventually, she paid $46,360.
However, the renovation works were ultimately not completed, causing the family of six to have to move into a half-renovated room on 30 September.
When Shin Min reporters visited the house, they noted that the wall tiles in the kitchen, laundry room and shrine area had been put up. The renovation works for the toilets had also been completed.
Additionally, although there was electricity and running water, there was no stove, sink or cabinets in the kitchen.
There was also a noticeable absence of furniture in the living room and bedrooms as well, making the house look empty.
Jenn told Shin Min in tears that the renovation works stopped halfway, meaning that the house has yet to be painted.
This meant that the new furniture that the couple had purchased could not be delivered.
As a result, the family has been sleeping on air mattresses and using newspapers to cover up the windows in order to get by.
Noticed Possible Safety Hazards, Police Report Has Been Made
After a month of staying in their half-renovated house, Jenn and her husband decided to file a police report after the contractor failed to issue a refund and did not pick up their calls.
Jenn explained that the contractor initially told them that he did not have enough workers to conduct the construction works, and later said that they needed to seek approval from the relevant authorities in order to complete the works.
However, Jenn did not receive any updates regarding this matter, and added that the contractor no longer picks up her calls now; he only replies to her texts.
He told Jenn a while back that he would issue a refund, but has yet to do so, resulting in Jenn being unable to find another contractor to finish the renovation works.
Jenn then lamented that the family was not even able to celebrate their culture’s festivals properly.
On the other hand, her husband Aaron complained that he spotted many issues with the renovation works that the contractor had completed.
In particular, using several electric appliances at the same time would result in electricity trips.
Aaron added that he was worried that it could potentially be a safety hazard.
After being contacted by Shin Min, the contractor claimed that he never promised that the renovation works would be completed by October.
Instead, the contractor, who did not reveal his name, claimed that the homeowners frequently increased their requests for the renovation works which slowed down the progress of the renovation.
Apart from that, he accused the couple of not heeding advice on multiple occasions, and that they had apparently gone down to the house multiple times during the renovation to interfere and disrupt the renovation.
Additionally, he said that his clients scolded and threatened the worker on multiple occasions, and explained that the workers refused to work at the house after beings scolded by the male homeowner.
This caused him to decide to suspend work and refund the homeowners.
The contractor then reiterated that he never made any promises to the couple and only said that he would try his best to fulfil their requests.
He also revealed that he is currently waiting for approval from the relevant authorities and will finish up the last of his work at the house afterwards.
He then highlighted that he will refund the couple for sure, but he needs to calculate the amount to refund them “in detail”.
The contractor then emphasised how he has been in the renovation industry for over 15 years, and is known for his experience and reputation. Apart from that, he highlighted how all his renovation works comply with the relevant regulations.
He added that he regrets taking on this project and that legal action will be taken to settle the incident if both parties are unable to come to a consensus.
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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News
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