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A couple has been told their high end $9.6m off-the-plan apartment was impossible to build, after construction had already been underway for two years.

Nina and Walter Ripani were notified by the developer, JD Group, that the luxury South Melbourne property wouldn’t come to fruition as promised. 

The couple became enamored after visiting a showroom and put down a $950,000 bank guarantee for it. 

The Ripanis were impressed by JD Group's artistic renderings - the drawings representing the unit in the luxury Victoriana development - which showed a large opening connecting an indoor and an outdoor space. The Federal Court heard the concept was 'impossible' to construct

The Ripanis were impressed by JD Group's artistic renderings - the drawings representing the unit in the luxury Victoriana development - which showed a large opening connecting an indoor and an outdoor space. The Federal Court heard the concept was 'impossible' to construct

The Ripanis were impressed by JD Group’s artistic renderings – the drawings representing the unit in the luxury Victoriana development – which showed a large opening connecting an indoor and an outdoor space. The Federal Court heard the concept was ‘impossible’ to construct

‘When you walked into the showroom, it was larger than life, and we were basically told we could have that apartment, and we were totally hooked,’ Ms Ripani told The Age. 

The couple were impressed by JD Group’s artistic renderings – the drawings representing the unit in the luxury Victoriana development – which showed a large opening connecting an indoor and an outdoor space.  

But Federal Court Justice Paul Anastassiou found that Century Legend, trading as JD Group, had been deliberately misleading and deceptive.

The court also heard that the company had been previously advised by architects that the artistic render it was using to sell the apartment was impossible to construct.

Ms Ripani said she and her husband wanted out of the deal but the developer ‘didn’t really care’.

‘They knew it was impossible to build from the beginning, which was devastating. They had no intention of building it,’ Ms Ripani said. 

The court ordered the $9.58million contract the couple signed to be rescinded. It’s estimated they also lost $380,000 in costs, plus the property’s value had decreased. 

JD Group lodged an appeal last week, with the court preventing the couple from getting their bank guarantee back, which had acted as a deposit, until the appeal was resolved. 

The court has not fined or penalised JD Group. 

In the judgement, Justice Anastassiou said the actions of the developer ‘deliberately’ mislead the couple, ‘having no regard to its knowledge that the free-span opening depicted in the so-called ‘hero render’ could not be constructed for design and engineering reasons’. 

Court documents revealed that architect Stephen Perkins told the company the renders were ‘misleading’ in October 2016 and that ‘the free-span opening could not be constructed due to development and structural requirements’. 

The court heard that Century Legend knew of the project’s unfeasibility, but still persisted to use the render in marketing the units. 

'You need developers to be accountable and transparent, it was meant to be our dream home.' Pictured, the luxury Victoriana development in South Melbourne

'You need developers to be accountable and transparent, it was meant to be our dream home.' Pictured, the luxury Victoriana development in South Melbourne

‘You need developers to be accountable and transparent, it was meant to be our dream home.’ Pictured, the luxury Victoriana development in South Melbourne

A lawyer representing the pair said the outcome of the case would have significant influence on how developers relied on a render to sway people to buy up. 

‘It’s a cautionary warning to developers to make sure what they promote is, within reason, what they can deliver,’ Zervo Lawyers principal Nicolas Zervos said. 

Ms Ripani said when the judgment against Century Legend came down, ‘I felt like it was a win for everyone because developers have to be honest with what they can and can’t produce.’

‘You need developers to be accountable and transparent,’ her husband added. ‘It was meant to be our last home, our dream home.’

JD Group have not listed the apartment for sale.

Source: Daily Mail

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