March of neglect

A HILTON homeowner says he’s had four major termite outbreaks in the last two years because of Homeswest neglect of a property next door.

Paul says the residents of 67 Paget Street moved out two years ago when the house was deemed uninhabitable because of the white ants, but the department has done nothing to address the problem and it’s now in such bad condition the roof is threatening to collapse.

“The rear beam holding up the roof is gone, so the whole lot could come down at any minute,” Paul told the Herald, adding the single mum who’d lived there had moved the whole family to the front of the house just before being relocated because of her fears it was unstable.

• Paul says termites from an abandoned Homeswest house have eaten their way into his property. Photo by Steve Grant

• Paul says termites from an abandoned Homeswest house have eaten their way into his property. Photo by Steve Grant

“I touched one of the weatherboard panels at the back and thousands of white ants fell out, so it’s a live nest.

“It’s been untreated for two years, so how big is that nest going to be?”.

Paul says while he’s been unsuccessfully trying to get Homeswest to act, the termites have munched there way through to his 70-year-old timber house despite his pest controller upping the chemical dosage and doubling the termite barrier.

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“We’ve lost two stumps, they’ve eaten through an antique table and a cabinet, and now they’re in the bathroom,” Paul says.

“We’ve been here 35 years and have never had a white ant attack in that time.” He’s got receipts showing a six-monthly treatment regime going back decades. Paul says the house next door and another a few blocks down have been broken into and have become haunts for playing kids and druggies, and he suspects other neighbours will have also have termite issues.

Homeswest’s acting manager of commercial operations Simon Bell says the property is due to be sold soon.

“A termite inspection carried out in late December 2014 found damage and active termites, unfortunately treatment to the property was overlooked at the time,” Mr Bells says.

“Repairs were not going to be carried out as the property was being subdivided and to be sold ‘as is’.”

Mr Bell says new titles for the subdivided block were issued in June and the property will be put up for sale soon, meanwhile the termites will be treated.


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