Author Topic: Issues with our new home  (Read 7996 times)

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Vera D

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Issues with our new home
« on: April 02, 2015, 12:32:22 pm »
We bought a new home in December.
We followed a guide we found on the Internet for snagging, think it might have been on the NHBC site which stated things like check top of doors painted, under window ledge painted etc. So our original snag list was very long.
However we condensed the list down and said that we would paint under window ledges etc so provided an updated list to the builder.
Some items we have just got on with and done, other items we have been trying to get the builder to do.
Three of the main items are:
Cracks on cooker, doesn't stop us using the cooker but it is a new cooker and therefore we believe it should have been crack free the day we moved in.
Two tiles in bathroom that are cracked.
Damage to edge of work surface and hob not secured into work surface.
The house builder refused to repair these but after the estate agent spoke to them they agreed to replace the said items but asked us to wait until New Year and the site supervisor would contact us.
Long story short, we are three months on and we have just spoken to the estate agent who informs us the developer isn't answering their calls.
I assume we now go to NHBC?
What is the process re the above items, should they be replaced?
What if the developer has gone into administration?

There are issues that we were hoping to speak to the supervisor about when he repaired the hob.
What do we do in relation to these if the developer is ignoring us and the estate agents.

Thanks

Vera


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Re: Issues with our new home
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 06:33:32 am »
First of all who is the house builder?  You really need to name and shame as a warning to others.
I am not sure why you are using an estate agent to deal with the builder regarding your defects and snagging.
You should always write a letter to the house builder listing what is wrong and what needs doing.

For sure, you shouldn't be doing your own snagging to reduce the number of items.
What incentive will any house builder have if they realise buyers are prepared to do minor snagging themselves?
Painters all over the country will leave the undersides of window boards knowing there will be no comeback. They save a little time  and they still get the same money for painting the house!

Without doubt you should insist on a  new cooker as cracks are unacceptable as would a repair be.
Cracked wall tiling should also be taken off and replaced and anything else that you are not happy with!

You would have been better to have used a professional snagging inspector before you moved in, then the builder would have had to fix everything before you bought the home.  failing that, the extensive snagging lists and the information and advice on this website would have been of huge benefit to you.

What to do now: you must WRITE to the house builder/developer giving them a deadline to attend to the items in the letter.  If they don't, make a claim under your NHBC warranty - which can be a long and tedious process with no guarantee of a successful outcome.

You really must take charge of this yourself, not leave it to third parties.
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

Tim Fee Snagging Inspector

Vera D

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Re: Issues with our new home
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 11:33:12 am »
Thank you for the reply.

It was a small local developer.

The houses were sold via the estate agent and the developer refused to meet up with us but walked round our home after it was officially ours and said they had corrected all items that needed correcting and would not be doing anymore!
It were a case of doing the small items or have the 'fight' to get things done like we are now.
My other half works for a project company and his colleague who does post installation surveys, both did the snagging so didn't see the need for a professional snagger.

Even with a professional snagger the builder wouldn't have done everything. The houses built before ours still have issues that haven't been resolved/done.

Unfortunately I think that even if we had a snagging list from this website we would still be in the same position. The builder is aware of our issues and refused to do anymore and wouldn't reply to our emails so we asked the estate agent to come in and see if we were nit picking or that were genuine snags. The estate agents said that the snags were all acceptable, in particular the condensed list. Therefore they spoke to the developer who agreed to do the three said items but now isn't responding to the estate agent and I fear looking at the amount of CCJ's that they may end up folding.

How can we take charge when every email from us and the estate agent is being ignored?
If we now go to the NHBC, how long does it tend to take with you referencing a long and tedious process?
When you reference no guarantee of a successful outcome are you saying that NHBC may now say the cooker is x months old so we are not repairing it?
What would be the situation if the developer closed down during the NHBC claim?
Thanks

Vera D

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Re: Issues with our new home
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2015, 11:52:08 am »
I have just had a quick look at the extensive snagging list on this website and this looks very similar to the one we used.

I have picked out a couple of items that were on our snaglist that was initially accepted however two weeks later we were informed we were being unrealistic and they wouldn't be getting done. These are the items we have done ourselves for our own sanity and rather than have a lengthy NHBC process. However this was after a month of having our emails ignored.

Has every visible surface been decorated?
Window ledges only primed.
Is there any paint on the door handles or hinges?
Several had paint on.
Is the grouting neat and complete, especially at low level and around the basin pedestal and WC pan? - We grouted and sealed it ourselves
Are all sockets and switches absolutely level and in line with each other if adjacent?
An electrician friend realigned them.

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Re: Issues with our new home
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 07:38:52 am »
First of all I am pleased our snagging list was helpful to you.

Given what you have said about the house builder, do you not think others should be warned?
Large or small new homes buyers should not have to suffer or put up with abysmal or non-existent after sales service as you have. This lot make the likes of Persimmon seem like "housebuilder of the year"
If they have a lot of County Court Judgments, why did you buy from them or not properly research them?

You have an NHBC warranty. You have obviously exhausted all possible avenues with the house builder.
Your only option is to now make a claim under the NHBC warranty. 
No matter how long it takes, it is your only option. 
If this builder goes under in the meantime that will be GOOD - one less cowboy exploiting the public!

As far as your warranty is concerned, the claim will still be vaild and the NHBC will have to appoint another builder to fix everything.  Your warranty only covers defects and damage arising from the NHBC Standards not being adhered to. There is no "Standard" saying "cookers should not be cracked."  I hope you have a dated written record of this (hopefully the estate agent could witness it) as the NHBC could claim you may have done it.
As with all insurance backed policies they hate paying out for claims!  The NHBC are no different, but you have a warranty so use it. Every case is different so I couldn't possible know or say how long it will take and whether you will get everything you want sorted out.

Finally, if you had got a professional snagging expert to inspect your new home before you legally completed, he would have advised you not to complete until all the items had been rectified.  He could have liased with the builder directly. Your solicitor would have had a list from a professional that he could have delayed legal completion. The house builder would have wanted his money so would have an incentive to do all your snagging - even if he did do a bit of squealing!
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Vera D

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Re: Issues with our new home
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 02:37:19 pm »
Thanks again,

Unfortunately friends of the developer live on the estate so naming isn't an option at present.
However if I hear of new builds in the area that this developer is doing I will take along our photos and ensure that people are aware.
At the point of reserving the plot in January the developer didn't have any CCJ's and we were told the house would be complete in May. Our house and the one next door weren't complete until the first week in December and the first CCJ was around September, one CCJ is settled.
I understand what you are saying and if there had been CCJ's at the point of reserving we would have walked away.
What is the situation if our neighbours and others on the estate go to NHBC with their issues?
A friend said something about the NHBC taking a bond from new developers and if the bond gets used then no more faults/issues will be done. Is this correct?

Yes we have a photo of the cracked cooker and I believe that the estate agent has a photo of the other items. We also have an email from the estate agent saying that the developer would do them in the New Year. So if the developer does go bust are you saying that NHBC will not replace the cooker?

Thanks for the advice re the professional snagging expert, we delayed completion by one week and our solicitor tried to negotiate a retention and but unfortunately we had already had a one month extension on our mortgage offer and then an additional one week, so had to complete or lose x amount of money spent on upgrades/extras and go with developer's solicitors word that everything would be sorted.

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Re: Issues with our new home
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 06:27:51 am »
Friends of the developer live on the estate?  How are they getting on with getting defects fixed?

Your friend is a little confused, but the NHBC can take sanctions against rogue house builders that cause them no end of claims.
The Bond the NHBC provide is for Section 38 works for adoptable roads on the development.
But the NHBC can drastically increase the risk premium they charge to builders with a track record of building homes with defects.  They can, and should in this case, remove the house builder from their register altogether.
Then he would not be able to sell homes with an NHBC warranty.
He could carry on using the LABC or Premier Guarantee, which is why I always advise against buying a new home without an NHBC warranty - there is always a reason why!

Whatever happens to your builder, the NHBC should sort out all valid parts of your claim.
I would expect this to include the cooker, but it may not.

New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.