Customers and contractors of A1 Granny Flats have serious concerns their builds won't get finished and their bills won't be paid.
The builders have developed a reputation for delays and now they've abandoned their headquarters in Sydney's west.
"It's left a big mess, it's left me broken really," customer Kym Posadas told A Current Affair.
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"It's like, 'Do I give up, do I just keep going?' I don't want to be in an urn in here, I want to live in it," her mother Lyn Azzopardi said.
Posadas' parents are unwell, so they decided to build a granny flat at her place, so she could care for them.
After Googling, Posadas chose A1 Granny Flats.
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"One-hundred-and-twenty days – yeah, they had a quick turnaround," Posadas said.
But Posadas said they signed up mid last year, didn't break ground until January and it's still not finished.
"Pretty much a shell with some walls, that's it. I've got no sewer connection, no storm water connection, I've got no bathroom, I've got no amenities, no kitchen, no bathroom items – nothing," Posadas said.
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The family said it paid $94,000 and only has $15,000 to go.
But the family claimed it reached a stalemate with the company due to a lack of work.
"I'm not paying anything else for things that aren't complete, like I already have done, (or) just going on their good word that they'll come back and finish these things that they haven't already done," Posadas said.
A1 Granny Flats said Posadas' project was suspended, due to a breach of the contract, because she stopped paying.
Her mother has terminal lung cancer and has been patiently waiting for months – despite not being given long to live.
"There's just nothing in it, there's no electricity, no nothing … so you'd have to have a bucket to wee in," Azzopardi said.
Andrew has been waiting just as long for his mum's new flat to be finished.
His mother Sandra is in the early stages of dementia.
"It's more peace of mind – she's living right next door and … God forbid if something does happen, then we're right here," Andrew said.
They went with A1 Granny Flats, because they needed it quickly.
"Basically at the moment it's been almost a year now since they've actually signed and started," Andrew said.
The builders also dropped the granny flat down by two and a half metres – much to the surprise of Andrew and Sandra.
"At no point were we told that over 100 tonnes of soil would be removed from the property at our own expense," Andrew said.
Now, Sandra's home is only accessible by a ramp. "If we knew it was going to go down this far, we wouldn't have done it," he said.
But the company claims the drop was included in work plans which were approved by the family.
Sandra's been in limbo for months, itching to catch a glimpse of her new place.
"I'm dying to go out and buy stuff, you know all new stuff to put in there, 'cause I culled everything … so yeah, it's frustrating," Sandra said.
While waiting, Sandra packed all her belongings into one small room inside her son's house.
"Most of my stuff's in here like the lounge and the dining room suite and the bookcase and everything else is all packed in boxes," she said.
A1 Granny Flats said the project was delayed due to a breach of contract which has now been resolved and that the family's been given a formal timeline of completion.
Steven Herring used to run Beaumont Tiles Penrith and was a contractor for A1 Granny Flats.
"I had to put them to a debt collector, because they just stopped paying," Herring said.
He said it took him six months to get everything he was owed.
"Eventually in June this year, they paid the last $18,000," Herring said.
He said it's bad business.
"It's just ridiculous, you know. They've done the work, you've made the money, you've got the end client that you've built, so you've made your money and there's no reason why you shouldn't be paying your contractors. It's all part of the price," he said.
Youssef Maraha from MSA Marble & Granite claims he's still waiting on thousands of dollars.
"All I did was struggle about COVID and actually, it means a lot because I'm (a) small business, I'm not that big, big company," Maraha said.
Maraha makes the kitchen bench tops for the granny flats, but said he isn't doing anymore, until the debt is settled.
"I need to pay suppliers, I need to pay rent, I need to pay like a lot of things," he said.
But the builder said there were on-site issues between them and that MSA Marble & Granite has not raised any formal complaints.
A1 Granny Flats Director Anton Dimov has blamed the widespread delays on supply chain issues, the quality of their subcontractors' work and also on their clients for non-payments.
In May, we spoke to Anton's brother Stefan, who was also a director.
He told us then the delays weren't their fault.
"There's delays outside of our control, a lot of them are latent conditions. I'm not too sure if you're aware of the four to six weeks of rain we had," Stefan said at the time.
But now, over text message, Stefan told us he no longer represents the family business.
The head office has its blinds drawn and doors locked – it's a ghost town.
The family has apparently shifted operations to their house, making it even harder for their customers and contractors to get ahold of them.
"Everytime a car goes down the street you think, 'Oh, here they are'. No … nobody," Sandra said.
"Finish the things that I've already paid for," Posadas said.
"It leaves me so upset."
"Fix it, just come out and do it," Azzopardi said.
To read the full response from A1 Granny Flats, visit here.
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