Residents at Opal Tower are still having problems. Picture: Nika Khodjasteh
Residents at Opal Tower are still having problems. Picture: Nika Khodjasteh

Horror photos inside crumbling tower

FAILED and devastated Opal Tower residents are standing firm on their decision not to return to the cracked high-rise.

While the building has been given the structural all clear, with residents told they could start moving back in over the weekend, many have refused until they get further information and written reports.

One irate resident has shared horror photos of her unit looking like a torn apart worksite.

It comes after owners wanting to sell have been offered as little as $1 for their homes, as ambitious buyers look for a bargain.

Nika Khodjasteh, who shared shocking pictures when she was first allowed to return to the building to collect belongings, shared further photos on Friday.

Wires are coming out of a concrete wall and she said the rest of their belongings were moved without them being told.

"Icon (the builder) just keeps failing us honestly," she said.

"Considering all the damages done to our personal belongings they are supposed to be looking after us but instead of doing that there is a complete lack of communication between the support manager and their onsite team.

"They were meant to organise removalists to move our stuff into storage for tomorrow (Saturday) morning because we are one of the affected units with a 4-6 week wait, but low and behold the team didn't organise it in time and did not communicate anything to us today."

 

Nika Khodjasteh shared these photos of belongings gone without her knowledge. Picture: Facebook
Nika Khodjasteh shared these photos of belongings gone without her knowledge. Picture: Facebook

 

Their unit is one that requires remedial works and could take up to six weeks to fix. Picture: Nika Khodjasteh
Their unit is one that requires remedial works and could take up to six weeks to fix. Picture: Nika Khodjasteh

Ms Khodjasteh said she had to follow up herself and was promised that moving would be arranged for next Saturday, with builders having to wait before accessing their apartment again.

"My partner went back to the apartment tonight) and found it to be COMPLETELY EMPTY," she exclaimed.

"So Icon, again, without telling us has moved all of our stuff, furniture everything SOMEWHERE and cannot tell us where and cannot even find it.

"How the f**k does this happen honestly? I have been so patient and understanding with them and they just keep failing."

Another resident said she had no words to describe her feelings anymore.

"I'm frustrated, tired, angry and sad," she went on to say.

One man said he had moved back in and was getting on with life, while another woman said she was waiting for more information.

"I haven't seen written reports from any engineer saying it's safe, or a statement from Icon as to what the remediation plan is," she said.

Ehsan Jahanandish said the situation was "ridiculous".

"Not only our holidays were ruined, this fiasco continues to effect our work and businesses."

"I wish no one would have given them their keys."

Residents were asked to hand in their keys more than two weeks ago so investigations could take place, following their initial Christmas Eve evacuation.

Residents Ehsan and Saghar Jahanandish after they were evacuated from the Opal Tower.
Residents Ehsan and Saghar Jahanandish after they were evacuated from the Opal Tower.

The first official meeting between owners and Icon took place over the weekend and was reportedly a heated affair that lasted more than three hours.

Angry owners demanded answers from Icon as questions remain over whether the building is safe to be reoccupied.

The fiery meeting on Saturday afternoon was the first time owners were given a chance to properly question Icon.

Icon has extended its reimbursement timeline, for costs associated with residents' displacement, until Wednesday, but one resident said there was a good chance this would be extended again.

Removalists help residents return to Opal tower at Sydney Olympic Park.
Removalists help residents return to Opal tower at Sydney Olympic Park.

While two engineering experts, commissioned by the state government to investigate the tower, have said the building is structurally sound, engineers contracted by the body corporate said it was "reluctant to recommend that residents return at an early stage".

The building's strata committee has urged residents not to move back in until all experts looking into the Opal issues state in writing that it is safe to do so.

As confusion continued over their return home, owners took one step closer towards mounting a class action after receiving a quote from Maurice Blackburn lawyers.

The law firm has confirmed if the case proceeds they plan to run on a "no win no fee" basis, and if residents are successful they will have around $6.2 million deducted for legal costs.

"These cases are difficult, often take several years to resolve, and are against powerful and rich defendants who use top tier and expensive law firms," a spokeswoman said.

- with AAP

 

 

Continue the conversation @stephanie_bedo | stephanie.bedo@news.com.au



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