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Wrong House Demolished After Address Mix Up

Sydney businessman Steve Ballas returned to his property in Bankstown only to find that a demolition company had knocked it down instead of the house next door.

Mr Ballas got a call from a friend saying that his three-bedroom property was being knocked down. He ran out of his shop, but by the time he reached the vacant property, which he had planned on renting out next year, workers were halfway through the demolition process.

He notified the police and reported to Canterbury Bankstown Council that his home was being knocked down without his consent. The police stopped the demolition, but by that point there was only one wall left, so Mr Ballas told the Daniel’s Demolitions workers to complete the job.

The council had approved a DA for knocking down 200 Marion Street, but the confused workers accidentally knocked down number 198, which Mr Ballas owned. The confusion was attributed to the mailbox, which had been incorrectly numbered as 200 since he purchased the property. To compound the situation, the house that was meant to be knocked down was numbered as 202.

The mailbox of number 200 had a newer label with the proper address, but it was reportedly obscured by junk mail when workers sourced the address for the demolition site.

Structural Defects Insurance

Mr Ballas said he would have presumed that a company such as Daniel’s Demolitions would have had several processes and safeguards in place to confirm that the wrong house wasn’t demolished in error.

He said that he considered himself to be quite methodical in his own business, and when it came to building or demolishing a property, it was natural to assume that everyone involved had a reliable site plan, especially with all the mapping tools available.

He acknowledged that people make mistakes and the workers didn’t destroy his property intentionally. Bad as he felt, he said he could imagine how the company management and workers had to feel. He felt sure that all of the damage would be covered by insurance.

When contacted for a comment, Daniel’s Demolitions owner Daniel Mandarano only said that he was devastated about the mistake. He had reportedly only communicated with the party who contracted and paid for the demolition via email and was paid up front to carry out the job.

Mr Mandarano said he was often hired to demolish buildings by overseas clients, so it was not unusual for him to not meet a client in person.

Mr Ballas is unsure of what his next step will be. While disappointed that lawyers will probably have to get involved, he said that he intends to rebuild, adding that the property was a “little nest egg” that he had purchased for his son.

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