UPDATE, 4.50pm: Watersun Homes client Alison found out the company had entered into voluntary administration through a post on a Facebook group.
She and her partner signed the contract for their new home in April 2015, with the assurance they’d be moving in by October 2016.
Construction has yet to be completed.
“We believed we were about four weeks from handover,” Alison said.
She said Watersun had acknowledged the project was running over time and was compensating the couple.
“The compensation came off the final price,” she said.
Now the company has ceased operating.
Alison said she saw the company’s closure take place as she sought confirmation of what she’d read on Facebook.
“I just started dialling the Watersun numbers and nobody would answer,” she said.
“I was on their webpage this morning when they shut it down.”
She was then unable to contact the company via Facebook.
“I did get hold of our supervisor – the poor guy was just as upset as I was,” Alison said.
Adding further stress to the situation, Alison and her partner sold their home in the belief they would be in the new property by October.
It sold quicker than they had expected, and she and her family moved in with her parents.
Alison said her solicitor had advised her the completion of plans she fell in love with would likely be a long process – up to 12 months, or more.
Administrators are expected to contact property owners who have contracted Watersun Homes shortly.
Property owners can check whether a domestic building insurance policy has been issued via the property search function at www.dbi.vmia.vic.gov.au.
UPDATE, 4pm: Insufficient funds have been cited as the reason for Watersun Homes entering into voluntary administration.
Ninety full time jobs will be lost as a result of the administration process.
All staff were informed today, according to a statement.
Administrators are expected to contact property owners who have contracted the residential homebuilder shortly.
Neil Mclean and Mathew Gollant of insolvency firm Rodgers Reidy have been appointed as joint and several administrators of Watersun Homes.
Watersun Homes has 300 projects throughout Victoria.
The company has ceased trading.
Administrators are seeking expressions of interest from parties for the sale of all or some of the business assets, including the projects, the statement said.
The first creditors meeting has been scheduled for Friday, March 10 at 10am.
Creditors can obtain details of the meeting by contacting the Rodgers Reidy Melbourne office on 03 9670 8700.
The administrators have urged property owners to be aware there of whether there is domestic building insurance in place with the VMIA.
Owners can check whether a policy has been issued via the property search function at www.dbi.vmia.vic.gov.au.
Former employees have been advised to lodge any claim with the Commonwealth Government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme.
The FEGs team can be contacted online at https://extranet.employment.gov.au/feg, or by calling the hotline: 1300135040.
The team will progress claims once full details have been received and verified.
The process typically takes two to three months.
UPDATE, 3.43pm: Former Watersun Homes employee Shiree Reeve felt sick and shocked by the news the business had entered into administration.
The sales consultant, who has been working for Sandhurst Homes for more than a year, said the circumstances of clients with homes under construction was a “huge concern” to her.
“I take it quite seriously that they’re not going to get what was promised,” Ms Reeve said.
“I don’t sell people homes that can’t end up being built.”
She encouraged affected Watersun customers to get in touch with her, to discuss whether or not Sandhurst Homes might be able to provide assistance.
“We can’t promise anything,” Ms Reeve said.
“We can only provide guidance and direction based on our prior experience.”
Sandhurst has assisted clients affected by the collapse of property companies in the past.
“It’s a terrible thing to have happen,” Ms Reeve said.
“We are happy to have a supportive role… to have a conversation with them.”
She estimates she sold 40-odd houses to people in Bendigo and surrounds while she was working for Watersun, most of which have already been built.
Ms Reeve said people could call her on 0428 777 371.
EARLIER: Watersun Homes has today entered into administration.
Insolvency firm Rodgers Reidy has been appointed to the Melbourne-based property company, which has built homes in Bendigo.
The private company, listed on ASIC as WSH Group Pty Ltd, has been registered since 2002.
Central Victorian businesses have been affected by the announcement.
Render Solutions company director Brendon Frost said his business had lost about $10,000 due to its interaction with Watersun.
“Home owners that are halfway through construction will be affected heavily,” he said.
Superior Concrete and Construction director Nathan Tresize said he knew of Watersun houses throughout Bendigo that had yet to be completed.
He felt for the families that had invested their hopes, dreams and savings in those properties.
“Where does it leave those people?” he said.
Mr Tresize said he had been doing work for Watersun for about two years – partly with his previous employer, recently as the owner of his own business.
“They have always been slow payers,” he said.
However, he figured a club that was financially stable enough to sponsor the St Kilda Football Club in years past was worth working for.
St Kilda announced Watersun as the club’s official coaches’ sponsor in March 2014.
Mr Tresize said he provided concreting and builders clean services for Watersun.
“I’m still owed money from September last year,” he said, though the business provided some payments earlier this year.
In total, Mr Tresize said he was owed about $17,000.
“That’ll hurt us, as a small family business, considerably,” he said.
“It’ll take me a long time to trade out of that.”
But it could have been worse. Mr Tresize said he was scheduled to complete at least six jobs for Watersun in March, which would have blown his losses out to more than $60,000.
More to come
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