The first 13 houses to be completed in the Milton Keynes 6,600-home Western Expansion area riddled with serious faults, the new occupiers have claimed.
The unlucky 13 paid up to £500,000 just a few months ago for the luxury Bovis-built homes at Crownhill.
But ever since they moved in they have been plagued with problems including mould, leaks, wonky ceilings and broken fixtures, claims resident Marc Holden.
Now the new families, who claim Bovis have failed to listen to their woes, have finally had enough and plan to create a website called ‘bovishomessuck’. They are also holding protests outside the showhome to alert new buyers.
The houses, opposite Crownhill Crematorium, are the first to be built on the massive Whitehouse development, which will eventually house 4,400 dwellings.
The entire western expansion, to be completed by 2030, will cover 450 hectares and run west of the V4 Watling Street between Stony Stratford, Kiln Farm, Two Mile Ash, Crownhill and Grange Farm.
“This is certainly not a good start to the WEA,” said Marc.
“These problems cannot just be put down to snagging, although we all have dozens of snagging issues too. One particular house has such bad damp and mould that it caused a three-month-old baby to become ill and end up in hospital,” he claimed.
Read more: http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/luxury-home-buyers-launch-their-protest-1-7408510#ixzz4BaR8Y1fY
"Opening that door on 13th December 2012 I found my first snag… The door handle was not secured and had a lot of movement, this brought my attention to the doorbell which was also loose. I didn’t feel like celebrating at all at this stage, as the minute I opened the door I then saw the entrance mat poorly cut, sheered off on one side. They must have left their tape measure at home, and by the look of it their spirit level too. Snag after snag stacked up like it should be expected? A disgusting delivery and start to my new home by Taylor Wimpey.
The day I moved in should have been an exciting experience but, unbeknown to me, I had invited Taylor Wimpey to intrude into my life and fight with"
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Consumers have a right to reject most goods and demand a refund if they fail to live up to expectations. Property, however, is exempt from the Sale and Supply of Goods Act. So what can you do about problems with a new home?
Paula Higgins, chief executive of HomeOwners Alliance, has the following advice:
If your home is less than 10 years old – even if you are not the first owner – it is almost certainly covered by a warranty. In 80 per cent of cases this will be the Buildmark policy provided by NHBC. Other policies include BLP, LABC, Premier Guarantee, Checkmate and Zurich. Most of these policies work on the same principle:
• During the first two years, the policy covers most defects. Contact your builder directly in the first instance. If your builder is no longer in business; contact NHBC. • In years 3-10, the policy will only cover only major defects, such as structural or weatherproofing problems.
• From year 11 onwards you will have to rely on your own insurance policy.
Before the initial two-year period expires, give your home a thorough going-over and write a final report of any outstanding problems to your builder.
One option is to employ a surveyor to undertake a "snagging survey" to list defects which need attention. Send a copy to your builder. This will cost from £300. At its best, a snagging survey will help apply pressure on a builder to sort out defects.
If your builder does not respond satisfactorily, your next move should be to escalate your complaint to the NHBC – or other warranty-provider – as soon as possible.
If you don't receive any satisfaction from your warranty provider you could:
• Complain to NHBC or other warranty provider. • Make a claim about the warranty provider to the Financial Ombudsman Service. • Issue a claim in court. • Contact the Consumer Code for Homebuilders. However, for example in 2013, home buyers using the service claimed a total of £133,845, but only received £26,512.
A Snaggers Blog
HomeSnag inspectors are experts at inspecting new-build houses. This blog shares real examples to demonstrate the importance of getting your new build house or apartment snagged professionally
"I always insist that there is specific provision for snagging," says Thomas Moran, partner at law firm Speechly Bircham. "Reputable developers do this anyway, but there are all sorts in the market, some big, some small, so you need a contractual promise than within, say, a year they will come back to remedy any minor defects in the finishing."
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