$11m mansion sale hits snag

The sale of Rosecraddock in Caulfield North is subject to a dispute over an unpaid tradie’s bill.The $11 million sale of the historic Rosecraddock estate has hit a snag, with a disgruntled tradie moving to block the deal over an unpaid $15,000 renovations bill.

It’s not the first run-in with contractors for owner and former Channel Seven newsreader Simone Semmens, who was ordered to pay $37,000 to a builder earlier this year after a bitter legal dispute.

Darren Edgell of Summit Electrical placed a caveat on the title of the Caulfield North mansion after learning the property was sold last month, hoping to block its transfer to Kmart chief executive Guy Russo.

“When the job came to completion [Ms Semmens] didn’t pay a large portion of our account – about $15,000. We sent her letters but there was no response so we put a caveat on the property,” Mr Edgell said.

“We’ve had to carry that debt. I put the caveat on hoping the new purchaser would force Simone in the settlement to pay us out.”

Rosecraddock received a complete renovation and refurbishment after Ms Semmens bought the landmark estate for $7.8 million in 2007. The Victorian, which has a ballroom, tennis court, pool and six-car garage, was the scene of the 2005 murder of eccentric millionaire Peter Shellard.

Ms Semmens and her lawyers, Clamenz Evans Ellis, did not respond to requests for comment.

It marks the second dispute over work done at Rosecraddock, with Ms Semmens ordered to pay $37,000 to builder Mitch Court Constructions by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal earlier this year.

An invoice of $14,318.18 for synthetic grass for the tennis court was among the documents submitted to the court as part of a claim for more than $90,000 worth of unpaid services. Ms Semmens contested the claim, citing faulty work.

Following mediation at VCAT, Ms Semmens agreed to settle for $37,000 but ultimately refused to make the payment after reporting newly discovered problems with the property’s airconditioning system.

VCAT then ruled in favour of Mitch Court Constructions and ordered the $37,000 payment be made after Ms Semmens failed to attend a hearing in January.

Mitch Court declined to comment and it is unknown whether the payment has been received.

Former lawyers for Ms Semmens, Best Hooper Solicitors, also this year won a $19,579.87 claim plus costs against their client in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Ms Semmens, a former Telstra public relations manager, has been an active property trader and developer for more than a decade, buying and selling luxury homes in Toorak, Portsea and Caulfield North.

In her latest project, Ms Semmens bought the 30-room riverfront mansion Edzell House in Toorak for $11 million and is looking to sell off a portion of the land for up to $9 million.

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