Thu. Aug 18th, 2022

The developer behind the apartment project is Merhis Group, which has received strategic planning advice from former work planning minister Frank Sartor.

The two-tower project known as the Imperial in Parramatta's CBD contains 179 apartments.

The two-tower project known as the Imperial in Parramatta’s CBD contains 179 apartments.Credit:James Brickwood

Merhis has previously said that “no buyer will be put at a disadvantage” when errors in the Imperial are corrected and inspections completed by the building guard.

However, Mr Burgess said some buyers of off-plan units in the complex could no longer get loans from the four major banks due to publicity surrounding the flaws. Buyers were also locked into a heavily inflated price for apartments that, if they tried to sell, would be worth “much less”.

Patrick Wang, who signed a contract for a two-bedroom apartment five years ago, said he was left in a situation where he was unable to fulfill or terminate his contract. “There is no trust from myself in the developer. They certainly do not have our best interests at heart, ”he said when asked.

His application for a loan on the unit of the Imperial, for which he had paid a deposit, was rejected after its valuation was changed due to the appearance of defects in the building.

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Wang, whose father also bought a unit based on the plan in the building, said there should be “fairness and clarity” for buyers if sunset clauses could be changed in favor of the sellers.

The buyers of apartments in the two towers, which have 179 units between them, have also complained about the lack of notification from Fair Trading about sending error messages.

Labor MLC Courtney Houssos said buyers had been left in the dark on their large financial investments.

“The NSW government makes decisions about their economic future, but fails to include them in the conversation itself,” she said.

Green MP David Shoebridge, who chaired the inquiry, said buyers had found themselves trapped in contracts for a building that had “countless defects”.

“There’s an obvious problem in our laws when buyers are trapped for four, five or more years with a contract on an apartment that is not yet finished and … has serious shortcomings,” he said.

“There needs to be an escape clause and some protection for buyers.”

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