An Auckland family claim to have been fleeced out of more than $200,000 by a builder who is no longer in the country and has been declared bankrupt.

Another homeowner told the Herald they were owed $50,000 after paying a deposit to the same builder for a house that had not even been started.

Hillsborough residents Nazgul Zamami and her husband Mohammad Humayoon Safi had big dreams to renovate their family home of 15 years, but they have been left high and dry after paying a builder for work deemed unsafe by the Auckland Council.

The builder, Shane Singh, told

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Suggestions David Kelly had for simple checks people can make