An independent building inspector is calling out the Manawatu District Council for signing code compliance certificates for homes that fail to meet the building code.
Two weeks ago, Local Focus talked to Lesley Thomas and George Griffiths about their leaky home in the Pohangina Valley in Manawatu.
They bought the near-new home just over three years ago from the owner and builder of the house, only to find it was leaky and wasn't built to the plans.
Now the couple are in limbo as no one will take responsibility.
Independent house inspector Jeff Twigge, of NZ House Surveys, offered to help by doing a full inspection of the problems.
His report found a raft of issues including structural integrity, weather tightness, and plumbing and consents that should have never been signed off.
"Lesley and George have been screwed," says Twigge, who says he's seen multiple similar cases where councils have been negligent.
"[The council] should never, ever, ever had issued [the Code Compliance Certificate] and I think accountability starts with them."
The council has declined to comment on the case.
However, when Local Focus asked Manawatu District Mayor Helen Worboys about it at a public meeting, she said the council has spoken with Thomas and Griffiths and there was a process to follow.
"That process starts with them taking the builder to court so, until that process starts, we don't know where council fits in," she says.
For the owners of the house, legal costs and court hassles are not what they want.
"That's just not an option, we don't have the money for that," Thomas said.