My House My Castle

A mother of eight who helped expose a rent-to-buy scam on the TV2 show My House My Castle is now living in a tent after getting evicted.

Putaruru woman Lisa Ngatai is said to have been evicted owing more than $4300 in rent and leaving the property in shocking condition.

However Ngatai says she is in credit with her rent payments and that the house was a “shocking mess” when she moved in.

Property manager Flo Drabble, who inspected the property, said “it was the worst condition property I have ever been in.”

Ngatai and her children are now living in a tent in the backyard of a cousin’s house in Putaruru.

“We’re on mattresses and we’re all crammed in together,” she said. 

“My kids go to school across the road from where we are and it’s too embarrassing for them. 

“We’ve been pulling our hair out – fighting each other for the past week.”

At the beginning of 2009, Ngatai and her partner entered into a rent-to-buy scheme, at $336 per week, with Auckland property investor Mike Hyams.

The house was in the process of being renovated and had no hot water or electricity, leaking pipes, no kitchen, faulty wiring and rubbish throughout.

“The conditions were, [Mr Hyams] was supposed to do the house up and he didn’t. We were stuck for three years fixing up electricals and plumbing,” Ngatai said.

At the end of 2009, Ngatai could no longer afford to purchase the property so it was agreed that she would stay on as a tenant at a weekly rental of $165.

But as of May 12, 2011, Ngatai owed $4300 in arrears and it was agreed that she would pay instalments of $50 towards the arrears and if she failed to make payments her tenancy would be terminated.

Source: Stuff

8:00pm Monday July 11 on TV2

It’s the season finale of TV2’s popular show My House My Castle this week and the show, which takes a look at the biggest issues homeowners are facing right now, visits Tokoroa.

This week, the show continues its special investigation into the seedy underbelly of rent-to-buy schemes in the South Waikato, and is also on the trail of a Tokoroa landlord who has left one couple out in the cold and their house dreams in tatters.

Missed an episode of My House My Castle? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

8:00pm Monday, August 24 on TV2

Tonight on TV2, we celebrate ten years of My House My Castle, announcing the winner of the Castle of the Year Competition 2009, and we revisit a dream home from series one, which has turned into a nightmare.

Last time the team visited Miranda Simpson we saw her celebrating, after finally getting the problems with her designer home fixed. However, ten years on and the leaks in Miranda’s house returned, and were worse than ever before. Unfortunately, her’s was one of thousands of New Zealand homes built in the 1990s that now suffer from ‘Leaky Building Syndrome’, which she attributes to her family’s poor health over the last decade. Her story is updated and the team discover similar tales of woe from people in the same position.

On the show’s 10th anniversary, producer Natalie Malcon says it is important to return to an issue that is still plaguing Kiwi home owners.

“Over the past ten years we have gone to battle for home owners dealing with all manner of house and property related problems – but the most catastrophic single issue that has emerged over the last decade is undoubtedly the leaky building syndrome. A tragic chapter in the building industry that continues to financially and emotionally cripple good honest Kiwi’s all over the country – this is something we couldn’t ignore in our tenth anniversary.”

Last week viewers got to vote for their favourite of the eight finalists in the Castle of the Year competition. This week one of the lucky finalists gets a knock on the door from Rob with the news that they have taken out this year’s title! Not only will they be crowned the king and/or queen of DIY – but this year the winners will be winging their way on a $19,000 ‘Castles and Chateaux’ World Journeys luxury trip for two through Canada!

From a mud eco house to an industrial chic silo conversion, the entries for this year’s Castle of the Year competition have excelled in using creative design and Kiwi ingenuity to create unique and innovative living spaces.

Malcon says My House My Castle is incredibly proud to showcase such fantastic efforts. “Our Castle of the Year competition is all about celebrating the great kiwi love affair with DIY. With no architects or interior designers in sight, these are the alternative home awards that instead congratulate the home owners who have rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in to creating their own interpretation of the ultimate castle. The only rule we have is, no beige on beige on beige is allowed!

Monday 20 July, 8pm

Tonight on My House My Castle, a vendor leaves a nasty surprise for the new owners of a Dunedin do-up so the team hire a private detective to track down the vendor and try and get some compensation.

Crusading lawyer Rob Harte is the legal face of TV2’s long running hit series My House, My Castle and says that for him, presenting the show gives him a way of helping people understand the law as it relates to their homes – in a light-hearted and entertaining way.

“The main word to describe this show is ‘fun’ – we can’t take ourselves too seriously!” he laughs.

“The first series was quite serious and earnest. But by series three I decided I couldn’t be a straight TV presenter,” he explains. “I needed to add some humour, or I wouldn’t last very long! And we wanted to appeal to the kids too, and create a show that mums and dads can enjoy with their kids. You can’t do that unless you are having fun.”

Tonight, couple Allan and Herme Spear learned the hard way just how important it is to inspect a property on the day of settlement. After visiting the property the week prior to settlement, they asked to visit once more but were told they had used up their right to one pre-settlement inspection, and were denied access again prior to settlement. On the day of entry, they discovered smoke and fire damage so significant they could not stay in the house.

Harte says this couple is just one example of what some unlucky buyers have to deal with. “We have been amazed at the kind of stories people have come forward with, it’s unbelievable there are people out there getting away with this.”

Away from the legal side of things, Harte is also passionate about the home makeovers that the show makes possible.

“We are doing extreme makeovers – the My House, My Castle edition. They are the most fabulous makeovers on New Zealand television – bigger, bolder, and better!” says Harte.

“It’s great to be back with the A-team of Cocksy and Hamish. Many have tried to imitate, but none have succeeded. These makeovers are their greatest works – they make Michelangelos out of Helen Clarke paintings!”

Also this week, is home ownership over-rated? We do the math and uncover the ‘Truth About Renting vs Buying’. And a super stylish container home makes our Castle of the Year finals.

Monday 29 June, 8pm

The great crusader for Kiwi home-owners and all things bricks and mortar has returned and is cheekier than ever, with My House My Castle back for its tenth season.

Host Rob Harte is back batting for the little guys with his cast of usual suspects – dodgy tradesmen, unscrupulous real estate agents, obsessed home owners and difficult councils. Throw in some peepholes into the most creative homes in New Zealand as well as DIY to die for, courtesy of our builder Cocksy and designer Hamish Dodd, and your every house fetish is fulfilled.

“These makeovers are a bit of a take-off of the Extreme Makeover show, it’s hilarious. Instead of a whole house, we did one room, and instead of 400 people, we did it all ourselves,” says Cocksy. “But at the end of the day, we still achieved something really special for people. And that’s what I love about this show.”

Each week leads with a consumer story, where everyday Kiwis going into battle over their homes are profiled. Property crooks, shoddy tradesmen, dodgy developers, and tricky city councils are added to the mix as well. Watch as Rob, Cocksy and Hamish don their fatigues (and all manner of fancy dress) so they can go to war for the home-owner.

This year they are really shaking things up to get action – from taking a lie detector test to the streets to find an honest real estate agent, to shooting a rap music video – if there is a point to be made we will find a way to make it so we simply can’t be ignored!

Back by popular demand, in our second story they bring you everything you need to know about the housing world in New Zealand. Can you really trust your real estate agent? Is it possible you could be better off renting rather than buying? And what should you do if the bank is closing in on you?

Alternate weeks will feature couples with terrible taste, crappy DIY skills or just no spare cash to do up their houses, and Cocksy and Hamish Dodd must beg and borrow to dramatically transform a different room each week. These really are extreme makeovers, but on a My House, My Castle budget!

“This time we had to be really creative, designing and renovating rooms on very small budgets. It was a real challenge, but the results are spectacular,” explains Dodd.

Each episode will be rounded up with a finalist in this year’s Castle Of The Year competition. These are the alternative awards that celebrate Kiwi creativity and the great New Zealand love affair with DIY. Strictly no interior designers, architects or beige on beige on beige! From a silo conversion to a container house, to an eco home complete with its own hydro-lake, the eight finalists are some of the most creative and unique homes in New Zealand. This year’s winner (as voted by our viewers) will be going on a luxury Castles and Chateaux tour for two through Canada valued at $19,000!

This ubiquitous home renovation show with a twist is about local housing problems and local ingenuity says Dodd. “That’s what makes My House, My Castle so great – the show is real. It’s design and consumer advice for real New Zealand budgets.”

My House My Castle Monday, August 27, 8.00pm

Tonight on My House My Castle – the Best and Worst Council Awards are announced.

Earlier this year, My House My Castle ran a survey called the Best and Worst Councils Awards. After almost a decade on air, fielding countless complaints about councils, the show decided to run a poll to see whether any New Zealand councils came out better or worse – according to the ratepayer feedback the show received.
Kiwis were asked to grade their city or district council from one to four (one being the worst, four being the best) in the following six areas:

1. My council is good at addressing complaints about things that are affecting my peace and enjoyment at home (eg – noise, dogs, building site run-off).
2. The staff at my council are helpful, friendly and knowledgeable if I ever need to make enquiries about rates, fees, consents.
3. Getting consents, inspections and then eventual sign-off from my council is a reasonably straightforward and painless process.
4. When it comes to building, renovating, and landscaping projects, the fees my council charges are reasonable and affordable.
5. Compare your residential rates bill for this financial year (2006/07) with what you were charged for the same residential property in 2003/04. How much have they gone up?
6. No-one likes to pay rates, but at least I know mine buy me rubbish collections, clean water, sewage and wastewater disposal, and well-sealed roads and pavements.

The conditions of entry for the awards included owning a property in the council people were voting for, and only one entry per household was allowed. Council employees and their families were also not allowed to vote. To be eligible for the awards, My House My Castle decided that councils had to have at least 20 nominations. The combined scores of each nomination survey were then tallied, and a final score derived for each council.

The results of the Best and Worst Councils Awards are conclusive, and will screen as a part of My House My Castle on Monday August 27 at 8.00pm on TV2. My House My Castle hopes the results of the awards will not only encourage the worst council to re-think some of its policies and processes, but also raise awareness of ratepayer concerns nationwide in the build up to next month’s local body elections.

My House My Castle, TV2 Mondays at 8.00pm.

My House My Castle Monday 3 September, 7.30pm

In the series final of My House My Castle, Rob Harte presents an hour-long special that will reveal… The Truth About Going Green.

There was a time when caring about the planet, and talk of recycling or sustainability, usually meant having long hair, bad clothes and living in the Coromandel. But today, being environmentally responsible has come very much into fashion. Yes, green is definitely the new black.
It is now the norm to be eating organic food – everything from that leg of lamb to your chai-latte, and to be thinking about renewable fuel sources (even as you fill up that four-wheel drive). And to not recycle household products is an absolute sin no Kiwi could ever admit to.

Meanwhile, our homes are becoming ground zero in the effort to become ‘carbon neutral’. From installing solar power to using renewable timber for the floorboards, having an environmentally-friendly residence has become the latest form of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.

But there’s just one problem that many New Zealanders face in this effort – all of this costs an absolute fortune. So, can we really aspire to be committed greenies when it comes to our homes, or is an eco-friendly abode only a realistic goal for the wealthy?

In this unique special episode, the My House My Castle team will cover the five most common ‘Green Truths’ when it comes to your home:

Building green Going organic Reducing your carbon footprint Shopping Recycling

Each truth has a human story. The people featured give other New Zealanders the inspiration to make big changes in their lives. They will also illustrate a really important fact – the changes you can make to your home are not entirely about ‘saving the world’… they can also save you money! The Truth About Going Green is a shocking, consumer-driven special on how to reduce your carbon footprint without breaking the bank.

Are you ready for the truth? Then check out My House My Castle’s green special, Monday 3 September, 7.30pm.

My House My Castle
Monday 3 September, 7.30pm

In the series final of My House My Castle, Rob Harte presents an hour-long special that will reveal… The Truth About Going Green.

There was a time when caring about the planet, and talk of recycling or sustainability, usually meant having long hair, bad clothes and living in the Coromandel. But today, being environmentally responsible has come very much into fashion. Yes, green is definitely the new black.
It is now the norm to be eating organic food – everything from that leg of lamb to your chai-latte, and to be thinking about renewable fuel sources (even as you fill up that four-wheel drive). And to not recycle household products is an absolute sin no Kiwi could ever admit to.

Meanwhile, our homes are becoming ground zero in the effort to become ‘carbon neutral’. From installing solar power to using renewable timber for the floorboards, having an environmentally-friendly residence has become the latest form of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.

But there’s just one problem that many New Zealanders face in this effort – all of this costs an absolute fortune. So, can we really aspire to be committed greenies when it comes to our homes, or is an eco-friendly abode only a realistic goal for the wealthy?

In this unique special episode, the My House My Castle team will cover the five most common ‘Green Truths’ when it comes to your home:

Building green Going organic Reducing your carbon footprint Shopping Recycling

Each truth has a human story. The people featured give other New Zealanders the inspiration to make big changes in their lives. They will also illustrate a really important fact – the changes you can make to your home are not entirely about ‘saving the world’… they can also save you money! The Truth About Going Green is a shocking, consumer-driven special on how to reduce your carbon footprint without breaking the bank.

Are you ready for the truth? Then check out My House My Castle’s green special, Monday 3 September, 7.30pm.

My House My Castle
Monday, August 27, 8.00pm

Tonight on My House My Castle – the Best and Worst Council Awards are announced.

Earlier this year, My House My Castle ran a survey called the Best and Worst Councils Awards. After almost a decade on air, fielding countless complaints about councils, the show decided to run a poll to see whether any New Zealand councils came out better or worse – according to the ratepayer feedback the show received.
Kiwis were asked to grade their city or district council from one to four (one being the worst, four being the best) in the following six areas:

1. My council is good at addressing complaints about things that are affecting my peace and enjoyment at home (eg – noise, dogs, building site run-off).
2. The staff at my council are helpful, friendly and knowledgeable if I ever need to make enquiries about rates, fees, consents.
3. Getting consents, inspections and then eventual sign-off from my council is a reasonably straightforward and painless process.
4. When it comes to building, renovating, and landscaping projects, the fees my council charges are reasonable and affordable.
5. Compare your residential rates bill for this financial year (2006/07) with what you were charged for the same residential property in 2003/04. How much have they gone up?
6. No-one likes to pay rates, but at least I know mine buy me rubbish collections, clean water, sewage and wastewater disposal, and well-sealed roads and pavements.

The conditions of entry for the awards included owning a property in the council people were voting for, and only one entry per household was allowed. Council employees and their families were also not allowed to vote. To be eligible for the awards, My House My Castle decided that councils had to have at least 20 nominations. The combined scores of each nomination survey were then tallied, and a final score derived for each council.

The results of the Best and Worst Councils Awards are conclusive, and will screen as a part of My House My Castle on Monday August 27 at 8.00pm on TV2. My House My Castle hopes the results of the awards will not only encourage the worst council to re-think some of its policies and processes, but also raise awareness of ratepayer concerns nationwide in the build up to next month’s local body elections.

My House My Castle, TV2 Mondays at 8.00pm.

My House, My Castle
Monday June 25, 8.00pm

My House My Castle’s unique blend of lifestyle voyeurism, cold hard facts and cheeky humour returns to TV2.

The programme that understands this country’s love affair with bricks and mortar is back and is sharper than ever. Host Rob Harte returns with a cast of dodgy tradesmen and house-obsessive Kiwis – as he tells it how it is when it comes to being a homeowner.
Each week, My House My Castle exposes the shoddy tradesman, dodgy developers and exasperating city councils. The team also reveals the loopholes that could cost you thousands, and meets the people who’ve gone to war with the bad guys. While the primary aim is to inform and entertain, wherever possible it is My House My Castle to the rescue.

Following the success of A Desperate Renovation, the show is again taking inspiration from one of TVNZ’s hit shows… this year it’s Builders’ Wives. Based on Footballers’ Wives, the show will find out what happens when a TV builder tackles his own home and tries in vain to keep the other half from losing it.

The stars of the show are Cocksy and Brenda. Despite what Cocksy says, his wife Brenda wears the pants in their relationship. But, even so, it is a battle it has taken Brenda their entire marriage to win – she wants to live in their dream home, but Cocksy’s so busy working for everyone else, he hasn’t had time to build it. She’s even gone as far as buying a do-up on the North Shore, though two years later construction is yet to begin. However, her builder/presenter/husband has promised to make a start this year. (Nothing to do with the fact that there will be a camera present!) They will be transforming their three bedroom, “eleven-metre-by-nine-metre-box”, into a four bedroom, three bathroom double-garaged mansion. Watch this space…

Throughout the series, My House My Castle aims to investigate and give viewers the truth about everything you need to know about your castle – or how to get one. From property development, going green, the new DIY legislation to school zoning, the best way to sell your home, and even buying a bach in Fiji.

My House My Castle returns to TV2, Monday June 25 at 8.00pm.