Couple evicted from house

Sub-standard: Frank and Louisa Kozak have been ordered to leave their Thirlmere house provided by Subsidence Advisory NSW. SA NSW endeavoured to repair the couple's mine-subsidence damaged home in Tahmoor.
Sub-standard: Frank and Louisa Kozak have been ordered to leave their Thirlmere house provided by Subsidence Advisory NSW. SA NSW endeavoured to repair the couple's mine-subsidence damaged home in Tahmoor.

A Tahmoor couple is gutted by a Supreme Court decision to evict them from a house owned by Subsidence Advisory NSW.

Last month Justice Hamill ordered Frank and Louisa Kozak to vacate the house on Mason Street, Thirlmere by May 31.

The couple moved into the house, at no cost, in 2011 while SA NSW endeavoured to repair their mine-subsidence damaged home in Stuart Place, Tahmoor.

The Kozaks have always maintained the repair work undertaken by SA NSW was sub-standard.

Mediation attempts between the parties failed and Subsidence Advisory NSW took court action in a bid to end the dispute.

Mr Kozak said he and his wife were disappointed with the Supreme Court decision but would not appeal because they could not afford it.

A Subsidence Advisory NSW offer to provide the Kozaks with $50,000 to carry out their own repairs in their Tahmoor home remains open for acceptance.

Mr Kozak told the Advertiser last week the cash offer was “shut up and go away money”.

“We know if we take the money then that is end,” he said.

“There is no way $50,000 will fix the house which is cracked and has black mould.

“We don’t think it is fit to live in.

“We didn’t cause the damage, the SA NSW should go back to a builder and get them to do the repairs.”

A SA NSW spokesman said despite years of negotiations and numerous investigations by independent experts, a mutual settlement had not been reached.

“Given the unfortunate nature and history between SA NSW and the Kozaks, the government considers a cash settlement the best way to rectify the minor defects as it will allow the Kozaks to see out the repairs of their own accord,” he said.

The spokesman said the government had committed to either compensate the Kozaks or carry out the minor repairs before opting to take legal action.

“The Kozaks rejected these offers and refused to relocate into their property until the government agreed to their lists of demands, including compensation of millions of dollars,” he said.

Mr Kozak said they had no real option now than to put plastic wrap over the black mould and move in.

“We can’t afford to rent because we are still paying a mortgage,” he said. “We are trapped.

“We have talked to all the relevant ministers and nobody seems to care.”

The spokesman said a recent independent report confirmed the Kozaks’ home had been rebuilt to a high standard, and minor defects were mostly caused by lack of maintenance.