A North Carolina couple is suing over renovations made to their home while appearing on HGTV home renovation show “Love It or List It.”
Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan filed their lawsuit at the Durham County Superior Court, The Charlotte Observer reports. They are suing Big Coat TV, the Canadian company that produces “Love It or List It,” and Aaron Fitz Construction, the North Carolina contractor hired to do the renovations.
According to the newspaper, the couple is suing over allegations of substandard work, breach of contract, unfair trade practices, and for having a business model that creates a conflict of interest.
The lawsuit contends that the floor was “irreparably damaged,” and holes were made in the floor “through which vermin could enter the house.” They complain of low-grade industrial carpeting, unpainted surfaces, and windows painted shut.
Murphy and Sullivan were looking to renovate a rental property, so that they could move into it along with their teenage foster children in April 2015. They say they gave Big Coat a $140,000 deposit, which was to be used to pay for the contractor and renovation. The suit states that only about $86,000 of their deposit was paid to the contractor before the final reveal.
The couple also contends that the show used plans previously drawn up by another contractor, and that they were not redesigned by a licensed North Carolina contractor for the show.
The suit says that producers used the money to create a set for the show, rather than to create a home that the couple and their foster children could reside in.
The couple also alleges that much of the shooting process was fake. For example, they say people on-set were assigned roles and reactions to portray, and that they were never shown comparable homes by an actual real estate agent.
Also, the couples believes that the fact that the show makes money off of advertising is a conflict of interest.
In its defence, Big Coat TV said its lawyers advised against speaking about the case, except to say that it plans to vigorously defend against what it considers false claims.