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Zen Homes 

Liquidator appointed

 

On 25 November 2013, Fair Trading became aware that Zen Projects Group Pty Ltd  which trades under the business name ‘Zen Homes' had been placed under external administration. The company is being liquidated.

Any consumers are asked to contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 to find out about the impact of the liquidation on their circumstances.

Affected consumers may give their details to Fair Trading so they can be kept up-to-date regarding developments.

Liquidator 

The liquidator contact details are:

Mr John Kukulovski
Jirsch Sutherland
L4, 533 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 2013
Ph 03 8605 7333   Fax: (03) 8605 7334
Email: admin@jirschsutherland.com.au

A liquidation is the orderly winding up of a company’s affairs. It involves realising the company’s assets, cessation or sale of its operations, distributing the proceeds of realisation among its creditors and distributing any surplus among its shareholders.

A court liquidation starts as a result of a court order, made after an application to the court, usually by a creditor of the company. (Source: ASIC website).

For more information, visit the Insolvency page on the ASIC website.

Fair Trading will work with the liquidator to provide homeowners and consumers with information on the effect of the liquidation on their home building projects.

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Meetings 

The liquidator may hold meetings for creditors in the near future.

This webpage will be updated with the details of the meetings when they are announced.

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Zen Homes customers 

This section contains information for Zen Homes customers.

Home warranty insurance 

Home warranty insurance provides protection for home owners where building work is defective or incomplete and the responsible builder is no longer around. Policies issued from 1 July 2002 onwards specifically cover situations like this where a builder is unable to complete building contracts because they are insolvent.

The NSW Self Insurance Corporation (SICorp) has underwritten home warranty insurance policies issued since 1 July 2010.

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If you have signed a building contract 

Consumers should have been given a certificate of home warranty insurance by Zen Homes shortly after they entered into a home building contract.

Consumers who have signed a building contract with Zen Homes should immediately contact the insurer identified on their insurance certificate.

QBE Insurance manages claims on behalf of SICorp. Consumers with these policies should contact QBE:

Toll free number: 1300 650 502
Email: builderswarrantyclaims@qbe.com
Mailing address: GPO Box 82, Sydney NSW 2001.

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If you have signed a pre-contract agreement 

Some consumers may have signed a pre-contract agreement with Zen Homes for the completion of administrative tasks such as surveying the building site, drawing or amending plans and lodging plans with council.

These consumers should contact the liquidator regarding their rights under these arrangements.

These pre-contract agreements are not covered by home warranty insurance. Consumers who have signed a pre-contract agreement may contact Fair Trading so that we can keep in contact with you as the situation becomes clearer.

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Licensing 

Zen Projects Group Pty Ltd, trading as Zen Homes, was licensed as a Building Contractor (Licence number 228528C).  That licence expired on 24 August 2013.

Fair Trading has received and responded to a small number of matters related to Zen Projects Group Pty Ltd in recent years.

Fair Trading has been in contact with some customers of Zen Homes in recent months regarding their dealings with Zen Homes.

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Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal 

The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) has 2 current matters that involve Zen Homes.

The appointment of a liquidator may impact the progress of these matters. Go to the CTTT website for more information.

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Legal advice 

Some aspects regarding the status of the construction of your home may be confusing. If you think you need legal advice, there are a number of organisations that may be able to assist you.

The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal produces a factsheet called Getting help which lists a range of services in NSW that can assist with answers to legal questions. Go to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal website to access a copy.

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Financial difficulties 

If you are having financial difficulty with repayments, it is important that you do not ignore the problem. 

You should contact your lender to try and come to some sort of agreement to repay the loan. In some circumstances the lender may agree to a change in the repayment plan to make it easier for you. 

If your lender is not willing to change your repayments you can contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 and we may be able to help.  In certain circumstances, under the Consumer Credit Code you may also be able to apply for a court ordered relief plan on the basis of hardship.

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Your questions answered 

Why can’t Zen Projects Group Pty Ltd finish building my house?

The company has been placed into liquidation.

Once a company is placed into liquidation, the liquidator needs to determine how best to meet the commitments of the company. There are significant criminal and civil penalties for directors found guilty of continuing to trade when they are not able to meet their commitments.

In the case of Zen they are also prohibited from undertaking further residential building work while their licence has expired.

Sub-contractors and suppliers 

Sub-contractors and suppliers seeking payment for a current contract or the supply of materials in relation to a current contract should contact the liquidator.

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