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Couple Shocked To Discover £385k New Home Is 'Uninhabitable'

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

Couple Shocked To Discover £385k New Home Is 'Uninhabitable'

A couple who thought they'd moved into their dream home say it has become a nightmare.

Sallyann Smith and her fiancé Gareth Hawkins spent £385,000 on their three-bed property in Maldon, Essex.

At the time, it was just what they had always wanted, however, things quickly turned sour when they spotted 'thick, black mould'.

The couple claims they forked £5,000 in living expenses and time off work while the problem was fixed, and had to move out of the property while the kitchen was taken apart.

Sallyann, who was heavily pregnant at the time, recalled the moment she spotted the mould.

The 23-year-old said: "I saw mould under the kitchen cupboards so I emailed Crest Nicholson and they agreed to deal with it - but after that it was radio silence.

"The bottom of the skirting board was covered in black, thick mould.

Credit: Reach
Credit: Reach

"A manager eventually agreed investigate it. In September, someone came to inspect the property. But then the site manager left the company, and things went from bad to worse.

"A person was sent out to clean it, but we asked for a new unit because of the severe damp damage.

"They took the kitchen apart and a temperature check on the walls by a damp specialist we hired ourselves found the property's walls were 99.9 percent wet."

Sallyann said even after the kitchen was put back the 'cupboards were taken out and there were holes in the wall'.

"This went on for a week," she said.

Credit: Reach
Credit: Reach

"At one point one of the customer services employees came in and said it smelt bad, to which I responded, 'I know, and you expect me to live like this'.

"We were left with literally no kitchen - back to the bare block because of mould."

Sallyann says the house wasn't what they are expecting when they bought it.

She said they were paying a mortgage on a property they couldn't even live in.

She said: "The house was effectively sold to us unfinished. So much so that we had to move out and live with family.

"We are now financially out of pocket from having to buy food out, go to family members who live 30 miles away for dinner and wash our clothes at a launderette.

"But we had to move out, so we were paying for that, the mortgage, water, council tax and all other costs in a property that we couldn't live in.

Credit: Mirrorpix
Credit: Mirrorpix

"The house was uninhabitable. I have sent them the breakdown of costs four times.

"It amounts to around £5,000, including all the times I had to miss work because I'd been told someone was coming to inspect the property - when often no one turned up."

Crest Nicholson offered to cover £500 of the couple's costs.

A spokesperson for the company said: "We are aware of Mrs Smith's concerns and, following various assessments, have now successfully completed all works relating to her kitchen.

"We continue to be in conversation with Mrs Smith and hope to draw the matter to a satisfactory close for all parties concerned as soon as possible.”

Featured Image Credit: Mirrorpix

Topics: UK News

Dominic Smithers
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