Metro mess reaches 40 homes as investigation deepens
THE number of homes affected by the collapse of Metro Builders has risen to 40, liquidators have announced.
Liquidator Jirsch Sutherland has met with Rockhampton Building Approvals which confirmed about 40 incomplete projects, of which 12 have been passed to another builder.
Five of the company's motor vehicles, an excavator, and tipper truck were secured during Tuesday's investigation.
Jirsch Sutherland partner Chris Baskerville said an inspection of the company premises in Rockhampton and director Glen Finning's family home in Yeppoon was fruitless as both properties were vacant.
"We inspected the leased premises at Rockhampton, which appears to have been cleared out prior to my appointment," Mr Baskerville said.
"We believe that the director has left Rockhampton with his family as the Lexington Drive property was completely vacant."
Mr Baskerville said he has officially surrendered the company's building license to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) to activate its Home Warranty Scheme to affected home owners.
The Liquidator also delivered project files of all active projects which were unfinished to the QBCC.
"QBCC advised us that we saved them four weeks of work by doing this, which expedites the restitution to home owners," Mr Baskerville said.
"We have commissioned an independent expert to prepare a solvency report to determine the date when the company was unable to pay their bills.
"We are examining the circumstances around the company's purchase of the Lexington Drive premises, which was purchased from the wife on 15 July 2015 for $2.6m.
"Our investigations will focus on the trace of funds and the reasons why the company purchased that asset and committed the company to a liability to the first mortgagee."
A meeting between the Liquidator and QBCC resulted in seven key outcomes.
QBCC needs to assess each project and the stage that they are at.
Finding a competent builder to take on the works from where they lie.
QBCC expects home owners to commit their funds to completing the project first, then the Home Warrant Scheme kicks in for the balance.
Home Warranty Scheme does cover defects.
The maximum budget under any one claim is $200,000.
The company is liable for the monies paid out by QBCC as to the Licensee (i.e. the director personally).
Home Warranty Scheme does not cover home owners who have paid 'in advance of the stage of construction'.