Unhappy Chicago Homeowners Sue 'Windy City Rehab' Star Alison Victoria for Fraud
Alison Victoria is headed to court. The HGTV star is one of several people being sued for fraud by some unhappy Chicago homeowners who say the house she helped renovate is not up to snuff. Her Windy City Rehab co-star and contractor Donovan Eckhardt is also named in the suit filed by Anna and James Morrissey, People reported.
The house was featured on ‘Windy City Rehab’ — but the homeowners weren’t
The Morrisseys are the owners of a $1.36 million home in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood that was featured on a 2019 episode of Windy City Rehab. However, the pair weren’t seen by viewers during the episode, since they preferred not to appear on camera. Instead, actors portrayed them during the reveal of the home, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“You killed it,” an actress portraying the buyer said. “It’s amazing.”
The buyers say Alison Victoria and her team did shoddy work
The actors might have been impressed with the rehab work done on the 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath home, but the real-life buyers were not. Shortly after they moved in, the problems began, according to the lawsuit, as outlined by the Sun-Times.
The day after closing, a leaky shower upstairs ended up spilling gallons of water into the kitchen, the homeowners said. A new roof was supposed to be installed, but never was. The existing roof eventually failed, causing serious water damage. Leaky windows throughout the property caused more problems, and an inspection found that almost all the windows were installed incorrectly. A crooked front door and crumbling masonry are also on the list on the homeowners’ complaints.
The Morrisseys have sued Victoria (whose real name is Alison Gramenos), Eckhardt, Greymark Development Group (which is owned by Eckhardt), Alison Victoria Interiors, contractor Ermin Pajazetovic, and two other businesses. They want the sale of the home reversed and are seeking punitive damages and damages for emotional distress.
Victoria hasn’t commented on the lawsuit but said in an email to the Sun-Times that she “worked directly with the Morrissey’s to resolve any issues of concern related to their home renovation.”
This isn’t the first time people have complained about ‘Windy City Rehab’
The lawsuit isn’t the first time people have complained about Victoria and Windy City Rehab. Neighbors have complained about trash and noise at worksites. The city of Chicago suspended the license of Eckhardt and Greymark Development Group after they were found to be working without proper permits and not following safety procedures. As of late December, Eckhardt and Victoria were only allowed to take out permits to fix issues at ongoing projects, per the Sun-Times.
In a July 14 Instagram post, Victoria said that she was working to resolve the permitting issues with the city. She also indicated that she’d cut ties with Eckhardt. “I want you to hear it from me directly that I am working closely with the City of Chicago to repair and amend any and all permits with our new general contractors,” she wrote.
A falling out with Eckhardt?
View this post on Instagram
Hey loves! I appreciate all of your support over the last few days. I want you to hear it from me directly that I am working closely with the City of Chicago to repair and amend any and all permits with our new general contractors. The building department says they are pleased with our efforts and we will continue to work closely together to move in the right direction. Season 2 of Windy City Rehab is currently in production. I am in LA right now filming a special with @hgtv called #RocktheBlock, but I can’t wait to get back home to Chicago to continue building beautiful places and spaces for all of you to see in early 2020! ?
Text messages cited in the lawsuit provide further evidence that Victoria and Eckhardt are on the outs. The interior designer reimbursed the Morrisseys for about half the cost of replacing the leaky roof. But a check from Greymark Development Group bounced.
“If I have to cover his portion I will,” Victoria texted after Eckhardt’s check failed to clear. “I do not want him to f*** with my life or business any more than he already has.”
Sub-contractor Ermin Pajazetovic’s company is also suing Eckhardt and Greymark. The company says it is owed more than $100,000 for work done on another project.
HGTV has not announced a premiere date for season 2 of Windy City Rehab, but in a Dec. 29 tweet, Victoria said the show would be back in Summer 2020.
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