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‘I had a killer tradie after me’

19 October 2016 Reporter
Renovation nightmare

Despite building an impressive multimillion-dollar portfolio in just over five years, Sze’s investment endeavours haven’t been trouble free. He tells RPM how bringing in professionals isn’t always the safest option.

Sze was hoping to create additional equity in one of his properties by undertaking a renovation. Following in the footsteps of many investors, he called in professionals to help him get the job done.

It wasn’t long before his equity endeavour became the stuff of nightmares.

“I had a renovation go bad – really bad,” Sze says, adding, “I had a killer tradie after me.”


A tradesman had been referred to Sze by a friend of a friend. Sze says from the start there was a definitive budget and a clear scope of works, but it wasn’t long before the tradie was requesting additional funds.

“While I was happy to provide some additional funding on top of what we had already agreed, he kept wanting more. I thought it was unreasonable and he felt like he was being robbed.”

The situation escalated and Sze says the tradie resorted to “underhanded tactics” and was soon threatening him and his family.

“I did everything in my power to resolve the situation, but the gentleman got extremely emotional and didn’t want to iron it out through discussion and negotiation anymore. Instead, he started stalking me.

“The police suggested I take out an AVO against him, which I did.”

Sze says these situations are sometimes unavoidable, but investors and PMs need to ensure they’re getting recommendations from reputable professional sources. In addition, he says renovators should have a documented paper trail of conversations, interactions and agreements.

“Also keep communication open as much as possible about your expectations and their workmanship. Let them know sooner rather than later if something needs fixing up.”

‘I had a killer tradie after me’
renovation man holding wood
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