Elne: the end of the nightmare for the Fernandez family, 6 years after the start of construction of their house

It’s a life project that has turned into hell! 6 years ago, Sébastien Fernandez entrusts the construction of his house to a local mason who will rush the site. The expertise is formal: the new villa must be destroyed as the poor workmanship is so important. Problem, the ten-year builder is bankrupt, and his file does not enter the state compensation fund. A legal battle then ensued. However, following the article in L’Indépendant of March 23, 2021, an incredible outpouring of solidarity was put in place. A few days ago, Paul, Aurélie and Sébastien finally settled in!

To understand this affair, we have to go back to 2016. At 39, the agent of the community of communes, with his wife and son, embarked on a life project. Sébastien Fernandez entrusts the construction of his house to a mason renowned in the sector. “At first everything was fine, then the site was delayed, it was even stopped for several weeks. I then noticed problems with the reinforcement, the corner stones, nothing is level, it’s sloppy work”. Very quickly cracks, leaks and mold appear, the expertise falls, they are terrible: the building is non-compliant, a demolition notice is issued. This is the start of a long ordeal.

In March 2021, Sébastien Fernandez confided his distress to the Independent, which would trigger a tremendous outpouring of solidarity

In 2020, the multiple studies, the passages of the experts lead to a hearing in summary proceedings at the Perpignan court. The mason (who was still active) is put on notice to pay compensation, pending new conclusions. Sébastien does not give up: “I take advice, a lawyer, I appeal everywhere, I move heaven and earth, it’s surreal, we are devastated. I refuse to be a silent victim, I am in the fight for justice to be done and that the faults and the responsibilities are assumed. By force, I return to live with my parents with my family, whereas I had left there at 16! And the credit of the bank which falls every month, they did not want anything to know”.

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Personal investigations allow him to discover that the ten-year insurance of the builder, a New Zealand company based in Gibraltar, is in compulsory liquidation, leaving nearly 60,000 insured in France on the floor. And this bad news brings another, concerning the state guarantee fund created to make up for this type of failure. Unfortunately, it only covers this type of claim from July 2018, but its dates from 2016! Fate persists.

The happiness of Paul, 8 and a half years old who finally has his room, and who has allowed his parents to hold on!

The happiness of Paul, 8 and a half years old who finally has his room, and who has allowed his parents to hold on!

After despair, solidarity

The Independent article published on March 23, 2021, will cause a wave of generosity, an incredible wave of mutual aid. Building professionals, people hitherto unknown and sensitive to the distress of this Illiberian family, make contact. Because Sébastien has always refused money and all kinds of calls on the internet, preferring deeds to cash donations. “I met admirable people, who struggled to find solutions. The ridge and the waterproofing were redone, the security of the building was also taken over… Everything was reviewed and finally, after more than 6 years old, we have just moved in. I have no words to thank them, everyone has offered their time, their know-how, materials, it’s unimaginable! Allow me to honor them: Dédé, Yannick, Régis, Jean-Claude, Henri, Thomas, Kévin, Gaëtan, Sabine, Bruno, Yohann, Etienne, Nicolas, Julien, Lara, Audrey, Valérie, Michel, Sébastien, Vincent, Stéphane, Alain, Sandrine, Olivier, Greg, Rémi, Julien and the companies But, Sud Color, Caréo, Béliard, Hitachi, Doutres, Waterproofing solution, Claira green spaces, Yesss electricity, … and all the friends, colleagues, our families and of course Indep, which has been a trigger. The work carried out amounts to several tens of thousands of euros. Without them, we could never have hoped for one day. r home. My door will always be open to them!”

Our misfortune allowed us to meet great people

Sébastien is happy, moved and remains in the legal fight: “because no one is safe from this kind of disaster, the bank had validated the ten-year mason, to authorize my loan! It’s still crazy…”. So crazy that even a film crew from TF1 recently went there to discuss this case.

A few days ago, the Fernandez family gathered some friends and craftsmen who did not hesitate to come to their aid.

A few days ago, the Fernandez family gathered some friends and craftsmen who did not hesitate to come to their aid.

And Aurélie Fernandez concludes: “Our misfortune allowed us to meet wonderful people, who kept their word. We were at the bottom of the abyss and we discovered priceless human values”. And then there is the smile of Paul, 8 and a half years old, the little rugby player from the Illiberian Sports Youth, oval ball in hand coming out of his beautiful room: “It’s really cool, me too when I grow up, I want to help others!”.

If the Fernandez family is finally in their house, despite legal costs that exceed €30,000, there is no question of giving up: “It’s so unfair! Financially it’s hard, we’re going to go all the way, for us and to prevent others from going through such hell!”.

Elne: the end of the nightmare for the Fernandez family, 6 years after the start of construction of their house