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Family survives years without a kitchen and heating. First, by contractor, then by the court in the abandoned
Mechelen “First, we were abandoned by the contractor, and subsequently by the court.” Glenn Ongena (29), Els Snyers (31) and their two children in Mechelen survived for a year without a kitchen and heating, the dishes they did on the street. They brought litigation, but the contractor went bankrupt. Pay now they also have blue on court costs. “The system is not right.”

The couple bought the house in the Donkerlei in 2016. For the necessary renovations went into the sea with Renofix from Herent (not to be confused with other, similarly named contractors). The one-man operation remodeled the attic, the bathroom, the electricity, and the living room. The kitchen was completely wrong. “He broke everything down, and then came an hour per day or not at all show up,” says Glenn. “I threatened to take action and got threats in return.”


The couple saw themselves in need of a lawyer under the arm. Who asked the contractor for the work to resume or stop it, but a response did not happen. The case ended up in court and there was a court expert is appointed, but that did little to make a difference. “We, our lawyer and the court expert, have tried to mediate the work to resume, something that a year long aansleepte.” The case went back to court, but the contractor was in the meantime gone bankrupt and is since disappeared.

“I saw that already a year arrive, and had the lawyer repeatedly asked whether we were not required to stop. But he continued to push to continue. ‘Don't worry, you're going to your money back.’.” The opposite is true. The couple had the contractor 4.000 euro paid for the kitchen, the same was on account of the lawyers to put the case to the contractor for the work still to be executed.

“The money is in”

“The works were not carried out, but the money we lost. It goes to our attorney. In total, we paid $ 14,000 in legal costs and the final bill of the lawyer is yet to come. In the meantime, walk the invoices, because the implementation of the renovations is apparent the meantime, a disaster. We have a gas leak, sat down, the electricity is not in order, the new bathroom must be completely broken out. The list of repair costs is endless – let alone the new things that are yet to happen - but the money is on,” says Glenn. Their honeymoon they shot there as well.

“I know that our story is not unique. How often do you hear not about bankrupt contractors? The our was already two-times bankrupt but started over and over again under a different name. He was given every excuse (exemption of liabilities - ed). We found meanwhile that you for a ‘small’ amount of 8,000 euros is not for a court to step in. It was much cheaper been that man, just his money to give and a different contractor to look for. The system is not correct”, they're complaining to.

It was so cold in the house that the nurse not even wanted to come for our sick son.

Els Snyers

To make matters worse, they are allowed as long as the procedure ran, to the kitchen and heating don't do anything. “We have a year long on our bedroom lived with electric fires. The dishes we did outside on the street. During the winter it was 14 degrees in the house. When our son was sick, wanted to be the nurse of the health for that reason not even to come home.” The family ended up in a negative spiral. Glenn was a depression, there were quarrels. “We were there every day and went with it to sleep.”

Since november, the kitchen is and is the inside nice and warm. “It could be loading the kitchen cabinets was - after our marriage and the birth of the children - the happiest day of my life,” says Els. Ordinary life can resume, the daughter (14) and son (6) can again be friends. “The house is far from done, but after a year of hardship is a blessing.”

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