Demolition team destroy the wrong house in address mix up

  • By Nick Lamb

A businessman returned to his home in Sydney to find his property had been demolished because builders targeted the wrong address

Steve Ballas of Bankstown, Sydney, Australia, received a call at work from a friend who told him:

“They’re demolishing your house.”

Staff at Daniel’s Demolitions had been instructed to tear down the property at 200 Marion Street, in Bankstown.

However, Ballas, who lives next door at number 198, had the wrong house number displayed on his letterbox.

“I was sitting there working away and I got a call from one of my mates and he said They’re demolishing your house.”

Ballas returned home to find construction workers levelling his property. Trying to avoid a confrontation Ballas immediately called the police.

Ballas explains:

“The police stopped them, took their details. They [The Police] said ‘You guys have made a bit of a boo-boo here – you’ve knocked the wrong house down'”

Ballas’ property has a letterbox at the front which reads “200”, when in fact he lives at number 198. The number at the front of his neighbour’s house, the real 200, that was to be demolished,was obscured, leading to the disastrous error.

“Mate, there could’ve been people in there.”

Ballas expressed relief that the property he was preparing to let out was at least empty at the time of demolition and no body was hurt.

Ballas told local reporters from A Current Affair that prior to the demolition, he believed that the property he had owned for a number of years was in fact addressed as 200 Marion Street.

“All I know is I thought I owned 200 Marion Street, Bankstown, and it was a little house I was going to rent. But obviously I don’t have that house anymore.”

The City of Canterbury Bankstown Council confirmed that the demolition was an error, adding that Ballas’ property was positioned between the numbers 196 and 200 in Marion Street.

An investigation is under way to determine the circumstances of the error. It is not believed that Ballas is to be investigated for purposeful deception with intent to obtain an insurance pay out.

Ballas said he had spoken with the owner of Daniel’s Demolitions, who he described as being “shattered” by the news.

“It was an honest mistake. Poor bloke, he was speechless” Ballas explained.

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N.Lamb@theinternational.org.uk

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