A Couple Take out Loan to Build a Disney Castle, End up Losing Their Home

Neighbors said they’d never even seen children at the house.

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17 January 2019, 12:00am

A real Disney Castle. Image via Flickr user Mohammed Bably, CC licence 2.0 (cropped)

A couple in Queensland, Australia have been kicked out of their house after failing to repay a loan to build a Disney castle in the backyard. Jonathan and Lekeeta Leah Martin had lived at their house in Pacific Palms for 12 years before they were evicted last year, having purchased the property for a cool $414,000 AUD ($297,000 USD) back in May 2006, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports. Then, at some point between December 2014 and June 2015, the Martins took out a $63,000 AUD ($45,000 USD) bank loan for the purpose of building a “replica Disney castle in their backyard.” Now their real house has been repossessed, and the couple have been kicked to the kerb.

The repossession of the property comes after a long-running legal battle with Commonwealth Bank, who claim to have not received any repayments on the Martins’ multiple loans since September 2015. The bank lodged a claim to have the home repossessed in November 2016. The Martins, for their part, have accused the Commonwealth Bank of “irresponsible lending” based on the fact that Jonathan’s income “was not able to service the [Disney castle] loan” and he had credit cards which hadn’t been disclosed. Judge Deborah Richards argued that “the bank relied on information supplied by the defendants and on that information there was sufficient margin for the loan to be approved.”

“There cannot in my view be any doubt that the defendants were aware and responsible for this loan,” she declared.


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It’s not clear whether the Disney castle itself was ever actually built, but a Google Maps satellite image shows no signs of the structure. Reporters from the Gold Coast Bulletin attended the property on Monday, and claimed that they couldn’t see the castle from the street. Eerily, neighbors said they’d never even seen children at the couple’s house.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom property is worth between $550,000 and $600,000 AUD ($394,000 and $430,000 USD) according to realestate.com.au. There is no mention of a Disney castle on the property listing.

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This article originally appeared on VICE AU.