One homeowner’s retirement dreams have recently been shattered, stuck in a home that is falling apart around her.
After thirty-five years of living in the hustle and bustle of North London, fifty-seven-year-old Johannah Leonard decided to sell up and move to the small town of Chudleigh in Devon. Purchasing a five-bedroom house on a new build Bovis estate, Ms Leonard was ready to live out her retirement with views over Dartmoor.
However, this dream soon began to crumble around her as the homeowner began to understand the sheer number of issues with her home. Now spending her third winter in a cold house, there are mounting issues with this home including a faulty heating system and damp ground floor.
Ms Leonard recalls that the issues were very much apparent as soon as she moved in. She described: “Doors weren’t shutting properly, including the front door.”
“The garden wasn’t turfed, and it was very badly painted.”
“But the Bovis site manager just told me to ‘make a list.’”
Along with a multitude of other problems including dodgy guttering and damaged brickwork, Ms Leonard was reassured by her warranty which she obtained when she first moved in.
It stated that any structural issues found in the first two years would be rectified by the builder themselves. However, after that point, the National House Building Council would take over.
So, after things started to turn sour with Bovis, the homeowner turned the NHBC. Following an inspection by the council, sixty issues were found with the home that needed to be fixed. First up, the council set to repair the substandard brickwork of the house. However, Ms Leonard states: “Due to poor workmanship I had to advise the NHBC that I no longer wanted them in my house.”
“The brickwork looked better before they started to make good the damage.”
With other issues left abandoned or only partly fixed, Ms Leonard is now left with a house that is far from her dream retirement home. She described: “There are a lot of defects in my home and both the speed and skill of the NHBC contractors leave everything to be desired.”
“My health has been affected by this experience, I am on antidepressants and sleeping pills and have had counselling.”
“I feel terribly let down by the whole rotten newbuild and regulatory system.”
“The NHBC allowed a home with breaches of building regulations to be put on the market and sold.”
A written statement was issued by the NHBC apologising to Ms Leonard. It stated: “There are rare circumstances where complex cases can take longer to resolve than we would wish and unfortunately there have been delays in carrying out repairs.”
“It is also clear that some of the remedial works have not been carried out to the high standards we expect of our contractors.”
Alongside this, the NHBC also offered Ms Leonard £10,000 in order to get the issues fixed herself. However, the homeowner argued, “the only offer I will accept is for Bovis or the NHBC to buy back my home.”
“For every mistake we uncover there are more behind it and repair costs could escalate quickly.”
Bovis has also been under a lot of fire lately with complaints flooding in from thousands of homeowners about the quality of their new build homes. Take a look at the full report here.
So what do you think of this? Is the quality of new build homes in the UK not up to scratch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.