Fears Melbourne construction company Blint is on the verge of collapse


A Melbourne builder has ‘disappeared’ putting homeowners in ‘horrific’ stress as they find themselves with half-finished homes they have invested hundreds of thousands in and may struggle to to end.

One affected family is Dean and Nolle Fuller, who have five children between them, and have already shelled out $480,000 to the builder called Blint, since signing in January.

The couple demolished their existing home last November and hired Blint Builders to build two townhouses for $1.5million, which were due for delivery early next year.

The slab for both houses was laid and first-floor framing was completed on both, but work began to slow down in the middle of this year, according to Mr Fuller.

But the 54-year-old said alarm bells really started ringing when his wife walked past the site in the first week of June and discovered the gate had been washed away and a trader was on site to recover materials.

She then drove straight to the builder’s office to find it locked away, while her calls went unanswered.

Two days later, on June 9, Blint’s owner told the Fullers he was going into voluntary administration, but since then they’ve heard ‘nothing’, with emails and phone calls remained unanswered and the office empty.

Target site

Their construction site was shattered leaving it a “mess”, Mr Fuller said.

‘During this time we have had two sets of vandalism, trespassing and damage to our property, which have been filed with the police,’ Mr Fuller told news.com.au.

“We backed up a lorry and dumped three to four square meters of rubble and rubbish on the property and the lorry also smashed the gates.

“Recently someone came and stole the electric meter from the property.”

The project manager said the experience caused “an incredible amount of stress and anxiety”.

“We spent half a million dollars on something that’s standing still and…sitting on a wasting block that’s potentially not covered by insurance,” he said.

“We are in a situation where we may have to make significant compromises on what we dreamed of building.

“We are financially impacted and may have to sell things to complete construction as there have been cost increases and delays. The property we have might have to be stripped to be rebuilt, although we have to pay rent and have to vacate this rental before Christmas.

left in limbo

Mr Fuller said his family would have to negotiate to stay in the rental, meaning his, including three of their children, would be forced to be crammed into the small property for another 10-12 months.

He added that it was almost impossible to find information when “all we want to do is build a house” and instead they are left in “limbo”.

“It takes a lot of time and hours to research legal options and between the Housing Industry Association and the banks and insurance companies, it’s relentless,” he explained.

“We’re all sitting on insurance policies, but since the trigger is Blint going into voluntary administration, none of us can trigger the insurance policies. So we’re sitting on a property that we can’t do anything with because we can’t hire new builders. »

Mr Fuller said it was a “frustrating” experience and just wanted answers from the builder.

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Seized offices

Blint Builder’s office in the Melbourne suburb of Highett was also seized by the owner.

Legal documents posted on the front door show that the landlord has executed his right of re-entry, terminating the lease and demanding that all belongings be removed and the keys returned.

The legal notice also revealed that Blint Builders owes the landlord nearly $14,000 in unpaid rent and rates.

Emails to Blint cannot be delivered, while news.com.au called, left voicemails and texted the builder but got no response.

“Horrible Strain”

Tony and Jo Firman and their two children, who are in the process of building a house specially designed for his disability, are another family who are undergoing a “terrible ordeal”.

Ms Firman has multiple sclerosis and the couple were building a house to meet her needs in the Melbourne suburb of Mordialloc which included a swimming pool.

They had torn down the original house and signed on to build their $1.2 million home with Blint, which was due for completion in mid-February.

The couple said they have paid the builder $1.14 million so far and the home is in the process of being closed, but no work has taken place since early June, according to Mr Firman.

“There is no carpet, it has not been painted and there are serious flaws that need to be fixed, so there is still a lot of work to do,” he said.

The 54-year-old said he even visited Blint’s office twice in June to check on the house’s progress.

But since then the carmaker has “disappeared off the face of the earth”, with calls and emails from Mr Firman going unanswered, he claimed.

“It went from talking to him every day to him never calling me back and never hearing from him,” he said.

Being left in limbo took its toll on him, with the online retailer saying he had ‘never felt more depressed in my life’.

“It’s a huge pressure for us as a family, both financially as we pay rent and pay off part of the house that we can’t even live in as we don’t have an occupancy certificate,” he added.

“Sending Us Broke”

Mr Firman said they could not get payment from the insurance company until Blint went into liquidation and it could ‘cost a lot of money to force this to happen’ before the courts.

“Even with the insurance paid in full, it may not be enough money. We have skimped, saved and borrowed quite a large sum of money. pay off the loan and be able to live,” he said.

“I’m afraid it will send us broke.

“It’s very touching for us at the moment… My daughter will be 21 next month and her only wish was to throw the party in the new house and that’s not going to happen.”

“Abandoned Sites”

Father-of-three Jamie* also signed on with Blint in March 2021 to renovate and expand their two-bedroom home in the Melbourne suburb of Murrumbeena for $730,000.

The family had planned a two-story addition at the back with a new kitchen, living room and children’s bedrooms and currently live in a rental.

Jamie said labor was ‘slow’ and the family had shelled out $600,000 so far.

Now they are left with a half-built house, although it was due for completion in April, and he describes the site as “pretty abandoned”.

Jamie confronted the builder at his home in June and was told Rodger Reidy had been appointed to manage the volunteer administrators.

But when he contacted the insolvency firm he was told that was not the case and Rodger Reidy also confirmed with news.com.au that they had not been named.

Now he can no longer contact Blint with the phone turned off and emails unanswered.

The 43-year-old said he just wanted to be able to finish the house, even if it cost the family an extra $50,000, but was left in limbo, adding he was “exhausted and frustrated “.

News.com.au understands that a number of suppliers also owe Blint money.

*Name changed for confidentiality reasons

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