Our dream new home has been ruined

6 April 2018

Moneywise helps a reader whose dream home was ruined by Persimmon.

My partner and I bought our dream home from housebuilder Charles Church just before Christmas last year. The snag list was very long and some items are still unresolved. We have been told in discussions that the finishing of the property was rushed due to the company’s end-of-year deadline.

We have been left with windows with very visible scratches and a poor finish to our property. I have tried to resolve this with Charles Church. However, my last correspondence with it has been ignored. I am at a loss as to what to do next. Any support would be gratefully appreciated.

BG, Crook, County Durham

This seemed as if it would be quite a simple case. BG provided photographic evidence of the damage and, as she had a strong case, the builder should have put things right.

Charles Church is part of the Persimmon building group, which has come under fi re recently for its senior executives taking tens of millions out of the firm in annual bonuses.

The company responded promptly to our request for help. A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: “Thank you for drawing this issue to our attention. Our customer service team will respond directly to BG regarding her concerns.”

We asked BG to keep us informed. She did. What happened next was nothing.

A couple of weeks later, we went back to Persimmon for an explanation. Our emails went unanswered. An attempt to resolve the situation over social media failed.

Two months later and after many more emails and no customer service contact, we had to give up. It is shocking that a huge publicly listed company such as Persimmon can treat new homeowners so shabbily.

In fact, a recent survey from the National House Building Council revealed that a  whopping 93% of new-build homeowners reported problems with their properties.

Probably because of that shocking statistic, there’s a Consumer Code for Home Builders that requires them to treat consumers fairly.

As part of the code, unhappy new homeowners can ask to be referred to an independent dispute resolution service. I’ve advised BG to do that. For details of the scheme, visit Consumercode.co.uk  

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

we had a Persimmon home - never againavoid as they are awful. We had lots of faults and had to go to the NHBC to get some rectified. Saying that the NHBC does not cover everything

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Pass this info on to all your friends and family. Do not buy a home from Persimmon. This is disgusting customer service.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

How long has this been going on? Forever!What is the government doing about it? Nothing! Too many of them have too much vested interest in a totally unregulated industry.One idea for exercising some control would be for all builders/developers to be licensed to build. And all contractors registered as well. Totally independent assessors and customer feedback would determine whether licenses were revoked, fines imposed etc etc. We have to put a stop to this idea that builders can get away with whatever they can. The unprincipled government wants more house at any cost or quality. If there is no pride in what they do, only how much money they can make, then they will simply carry on making rubbish housing and make homeowners' lives a misery. Sorry for the rant but for heaven's sake....

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I would have thought a solicitor's letter at this stage warning the company that if they did not rectify the problems within a secified time, you would get another company to carry out the remedial work and you would persue them for the costs in court. A surveyor should be used to establish the work required.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

It is about time the Gov't dealt with the house builders particularly the big 6 albeit they are not the only culprits of poor standards. The trouble is the political parties want the builders to do what they are supposed to do - build houses and seem to be scared to do deal with them in case the builders claim Gov't is delaying building. Additionally political parties rely on donations and the builders directors like profit, bonuses and knighthoods. The poor standard of new house builds, estates layout, internal roads sizes, space, car parking and still the leasehold issue says everything about our builders ethics. The new build warranties seem worthless and the National Builders Federation lack any power or back bone. Buying a new build is more than a financial gamble it is a concern.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

why do people buy this crap, we all know they build crap.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Your suggestion that unhappy buyers of new houses could use the builders' Independent Resolution Service is very unrealistic. I would ask that you get hold of a copy of their claim form. It is incredibly complex; requires photocopies of everything from the Final Completion Statement to every agreement and snagging report (and eight of us new housebuyers from Abbey Homes do not yet HAVE our Final Completion document or deeds -- two years after purchased!!)...PLUS the complainant has to pay..£200 from memory. Trouble is -- the NHBC is NOT doing the job it is intended for. It is simply a (very limited) insurance scheme -- paid for by builders I believe -- and totally self-interested and conflicted. It has failed me completely twice so far and is not concerned about the methods or repair carried out by the bulder even when a defect is aditted; and even when the repair does not meet Council Building Regs. The NHBC is not independent, and is not effective and should be totally overhauled and replaced.

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