New Homeowners Spend £280,000 Life Savings On House With 700 Faults
Imagine the scene - you and your significant other save up really hard to buy your dream home. You find the perfect house, in a good area and you get all the legal stuff sorted.
As you move yourself and your family in, you realise a couple of faults with your new home, then a couple more. And before you know it you've found no less than 700 issues - and despite reporting them, after 10 months, only a small number have been fixed.
That's exactly what happened to Nicola Bentley, 46 and her husband Phil. After going to a viewing at a stunning show home in Castleford, near Leeds, from developers Persimmon, Nicola and Phil fell in love with the four bedroom house and agreed to buy it off-plan - before it's been completely built.
But just days after moving in, there was a whole host of things wrong with it - including doors that don't fit properly, holes in the plasterwork and cracks all around the windows. Even the turf in the garden was laid badly.
The couple, who have two kids aged 10 and 15, say that the move has left them at 'breaking point'.
Nicola, who suffers from autoimmune disease lupus, explained: "It's been awful and it's taken over our lives. There isn't one room in the whole house which is complete.
"We are living in a building site, we haven't been able to put any photos up on the walls and there is just a TV and sofa in the living room.
"It's been horrendous and the worst year of our lives. We wish we had never done it.
"This is our life savings, we have put everything into the house. I thought we had a dream home but it's turned into a nightmare from hell."
According to the couple, they weren't allowed to inspect the property prior to exchanging contracts as they were told it was 'against Persimmon policy'.
Phil, who owns a graphic design company, said: "To start with, the Monday after we moved in we received a snagging report saying there were 500 defects. I identified a further 200.
"We were not allowed to inspect the house before we bought it.
"We spoke to the solicitor about pulling out but we were advised it would cost up to £15,000.
"They said if we didn't move in when they said it would cost £100 a day in penalty fees.
"The first thing I noticed when they gave us a new home demonstration was they had put the wrong size casings on every door, it was about an inch too big.
"They could not wait to give us the keys. I feel like I've been robbed blind. We have spent £280,000 and then £15,000 in extras."
Persimmon is reported to be at risk of being stripped of its right to participate in the government's Help to Buy mortgage scheme due to issues with home quality and leadership.
A spokesperson for Persimmon said: "We acknowledge that Mr and Mrs Bentley's home did not meet our intended standards and regret the inconvenience this has caused them.
"Regular meetings have been scheduled with the couple, including one at their home yesterday (Tuesday).
"We let customers inspect their property prior to exchange if it is safe to do so. Mr and Mrs Bentley's property was still under construction at this stage, therefore an inspection was not possible.
"We have pledged to work with the couple to resolve what we believe are the final items of work."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS