RALEIGH, N.C. – April 22, 2016 – A Raleigh, N.C., couple is suing the producers of HGTV’s “Love It or List It,” along with building contractors, claiming renovations done to their home on the show left it in disrepair.
The show follows designer Hilary Farr as she makes renovations to an owner’s home while Canadian real estate professional David Visentin finds them a new house. In the end, the owner must choose whether to keep their renovated home or list it and buy the new property.
In the couple’s lawsuit, Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan allege that the flooring in their home was left “irreparably damaged” after the HGTV renovation. The suit claims duct work left holes in the floor that were covered with low-grade industrial carpeting; some surfaces were left unpainted, and windows were painted shut. The show also did not use a licensed architect for the renovation plans, and the couple was never shown any houses for sale by a licensed North Carolina real estate agent who could have brokered the sale of a new home, the suit says.
The couple is also suing Canadian production company Big Coat TV and North Carolina contractor Aaron Fitz Construction, the company hired to complete the renovations. The HGTV episode featuring Murphy and Sullivan aired in April.
“The show is scripted, with ‘roles’ and reactions assigned to the various performers and participants, including the homeowners,” the lawsuit alleges. “Big Coat’s purported agreement admits that it is in the business of television production, not construction. The homeowners’ funds essentially pay the cost of creating a stage set for the television series.”
The lawsuit says the couple was asked to deposit $140,000 into a fund for the production company. The funds go to paying contractors and subcontractors.
“We are aware of the lawsuit,” Big Coat TV CEO Maria Armstrong said in a statement. “Because this matter involves ongoing litigation, we feel that making a comment would be inappropriate at this time. However, we do intend to vigorously defend what we consider to be false allegations.”
Source: “HGTV’s ‘Love It or List It’ Sued,” Cox Media Group (April 18, 2016) and “‘Love It or List It’ Homeowners Sue Over Raleigh Renovation,” The News & Observer (April 17, 2016)
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