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Melbourne man says he had to cancel the contract after A1A Homes raised the bill by $125,000


A young man from Melbourne, who had been saving for a house since he started working at Subway at the age of 15, was eager to start building his dream home, but more than two years later it is a become “disaster”.

Abishek Mahajan had signed on to build a $675,500 house in August 2021 with Melbourne construction company A1A Homes.

The 27-year-old claimed his build was delayed a year before the slab was poured, but once it was finished he was “angry and shocked” by what happened next.

He claimed the construction company demanded an additional $125,000 to complete construction, but it was impossible for the NDIS employee to come up with the huge amount.

“It was always a dream to get into the real estate market, to build our own house and move in and start a family,” he told

“I recently got married and it is a migrant’s dream. My parents came here 12 years ago and I worked so damn hard to have my own house and they ruined every year of hard work for us”

Mr Mahajan said while attending an on-site meeting in August 2022 he had no idea he would receive a request for an additional $125,000 – with the construction company basing the decision on “rising costs”.

The situation rocked him.

“Literally, the earth at my feet had disappeared and my heart was about to come out. How would you find so much money and how could you ask for so much money? he said.

“People take out a loan to get that money. It’s not like $5,000 or $10,000, but $125,000 is a down payment on a house…”

“Mentally I was so damn sick inside, I had breathing problems when I talked to them. I had a mini heart attack because you lost everything in that split second.

A1A Homes declined to answer detailed questions about the dispute.

The company issued this statement: “We believe that some of these allegations are not true at all. As you know, publishing false defamatory statements will have consequences. We will seek damages if the reputation of A1A Homes is damaged.”

Mr. Mahajan claimed that he had no choice but to mutually terminate the contract with the builder in September last year following the request for money.

Built in the suburb of Craigieburn, an email to the construction company’s Mr. Mahajan outlined how he had already paid $101,325 as part of the contract.

The construction company said they made about $92,585 from the work already done and said they owed him a refund of $8,740.

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Since then his site has been empty and he has not been able to do anything with it as he has been chasing compliance certificates and the refund of more than $8000.

Despite pleading for a refund and telling the builder he’s “having cash flow issues and desperately needs the money,” he claims nothing happened.

In an email from AIA Homes on Oct. 13, viewed by, he was told that “due to current market conditions” the refund would take about three to four weeks — but more than four months later, he’s still waiting always on the refund.

The Melbourne man claims he has been pursuing AIA Homes for months with multiple emails and phone calls, but he said they stopped responding, leaving him in limbo.

He said he had to continually ask for certificates of compliance for the plumbing and termites — and on Dec. 22, he was told by the company in an email that they are pursuing the certificates “as soon as possible.”

Later, an email to Mr. Mahahan from the contractor responsible for the termite certificate in January revealed that the contractor was waiting for a payment of $165 from the builder before releasing the certificate.

Mr. Mahajan said that he eventually paid the money out of his own pocket to get the certificate.

Mr Mahajan said that a year ago he was supposed to move into his home but now feels destroyed by his experience.

“I started working when I was 15 and at Subway for nine months and have been saving ever since. I invested and made some money to build my own house and since I signed up it has literally been a disaster,” he said.

“I have land without a house, I pay a mortgage and council bills… Financially and mentally I’m done with it and I don’t know what to do now.”

Mr. Mahajan said he would like to keep the place for his dream home but fears it will not be possible.

“Building or buying another house becomes a nightmare with rising interest rates – everything is out of our budget and even if we sell it now I would have a mortgage and just pay for nothing, no land, no house, nothing,” he said.

“I still have hope, even if I only keep the country going for a year or two, to keep that dream going when I work double shifts and get another job to work, that’s what I’ll do to make it for to get together.”


Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.