An Auckland woman has won a High Court legal battle involving the collapse of a home previously renovated on the first season of TV show The Block NZ.
Brenda Perry purchased the property, at 80 Anzac St in Takapuna in 2016, intending to move it to land she owned on Waiheke Island, according to the High Court judgment issued by Justice Christine Gordon.
The house was originally renovated on The Block NZ by New Plymouth's Ginny Death and Rhys Wineera.
In July of 2016, Perry entered into a contract with O'Neills Building Removals for the purchase of the house and for the company to move it to Waiheke.
At the time, the house was situated on land owned by Auburn Developments, which had plans to build an apartment block on the site.
Auburn needed the land cleared and thus sold two of the four houses to O'Neills, one of which was then on-sold to Perry.
Perry was warned by O'Neills that the house would need to be cleared quickly to allow for Auburn Developments to commence the construction process.
It was made clear from the outset that the house needed to be cleared to avoid a risk of damage during the construction process.
At first, the O'Neills told Perry that it was urgent for the property to be moved immediately but later said that Auburn was satisfied for the house to remain on the site for a longer period of time.
In late 2016, Perry discovered the property was damaged.
She learned that the bricks on the house had been removed and building work was ongoing around the house.
She had not been informed of this.
From this point, Perry tried unsuccessfully to have O'Neills take appropriate steps to secure and protect the house from further damage.
They did not do this but told her that developer would do so.
The damage to the property included the removal of the front deck, water damage to the kitchen unit, damage to a vanity unit in the ensuite bathroom, lights were torn out of the ceiling and the brick foundations were exposed.
The court said that despite repeated requests to remove the house, O'Neills failed to do so.
In response, Perry issued legal proceedings on April 21 last year.
Eight days later O'Neills loaded the house onto a trailer and on May 10
O'Neills relocated the house to a storage yard in Ranui. From then, the house suffered
further extensive damage in part from it not being watertight.
In June, Perry went to the Ranui site and discovered that the kitchen ceiling had collapsed. This was followed by the collapse of the master bedroom ceiling.
On June 20 last year, Perry cancelled the contract due to the failures, claiming misleading conduct and breaches of obligations.
In her claim, Perry requested a repayment of $89,000 for her deposit as well as $49,850 for fees paid to a draughtsman, an engineer, a planning consultant, Auckland Council, ecologists, an arborist, surveyors, and transport costs between Waiheke Island and Auckland. She also requested general damages of $35,000 to gain compensation for the distress caused.
Justice Gordon found that O'Neills breached its obligations to Perry.
The judge ordered the three defendants - Auburn, Jeremy O'Neill (a director at O'Neills) and O'Neills Building Removals - to pay $208,000.
O'Neills Building has since gone into liquidation.