Author Topic: New Build Issues Before Moving In  (Read 3409 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

FraglePhoenix

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
New Build Issues Before Moving In
« on: June 19, 2015, 12:00:24 pm »
Hi all,

We purchased a new build townhouse back in October with a completion date of this month, this may or may not slip - they are trying to push through as it is their financial half-year end at the end of June. That doesn't bother us too much even though my wife is expecting next month.

We have recently been informed that the en-suite layout needs to change to bring the toilet closer to the SVP, why this wasn't picked up on design I'm yet to get an answer to, however, I went to site to view the change and sign off the proposed plans. The layout was not as the plans so I haven't signed it off yet, again not really an issue but what else I saw was.

The consumer unit (fuse board) had been moved from the drawings we accepted from the kitchen in the units to the hallway at stomach height, we were not consulted on the move, it has just happened. After being told we could move it back by the sales person and confirmed with the site manager it now appears it can't and we have brought furniture for this space.

We now also have a 1.5m x 0.5m loss on our living room where they have moved the adjacent cloakroom under the stairs to give more head room in there. Again not consulted at any stage I just found out cause I happened to be on site. So space lost in living room and gained under the stairs in a dead area.

We questioned a strange looking box in the apex of the house brickwork which now turns out to be a bat box. Again no mention of this at point of sale or since. We have no idea what this means from a maintenance, hygiene and noise point of view.

A few other bits around quality and swearing written on the walls but these were the major things.

I've sent two emails now to the sales manager and then their boss, both of which have hardly answered my questions and basically said that its tough and not moving the points above. I believe that they are breaking their contract of sales as well as a number of other codes they are suppose to follow.

I'm not sure what steps I should be taking from here to reach some form of resolution. We are suppose to be moving in the end of this month and they just don't seem to care that we have lost living space and inherited a bat box.

Any advice would be appreciated


New Home Expert

  • Global Moderator
  • Expert
  • *****
  • Posts: 865
  • Country: england
  • Expert advice for new home buyers
    • New Home Blog
Re: New Build Issues Before Moving In
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2015, 07:37:17 am »
From what you have said about half year figures at end of June and as you have posted in the Taylor Wimpey catagory I assume the housebuilder is Taylor Wimpey.

This forum prefers those posting to name the housebuilder causing them the problem so others can be warned.  That way eventually gaining a very bad reputation (which all three I mention already have) may, just may shame them into putting the customer before profits and bonuses.

Changes to the design
Housebuilders cannot make any design changes to the house you are buying without informing you.  You then have the option to refuse and not buy the home.  This is outlined in the Consumer Code for Home Builders. It would appear that your housebuilder is breaching many of the requirements, presumably one (1.2) being not giving you a copy of the Code at Reservation!  You can download a copy from the linked page.

Moving a WC slightly nearer the SVP makes sense as it cuts down the boxing required and may give more leg room. However repositioning the WC to another wall or moving more than 300mm would be considered a major change. You also have to question the reason for this. Is it being done in this house type in every plot?   The fact that the revised WC layout is not on the current plans suggest this is a one-off bodge to get over something.

Re locating the Consumer Unit (fuse board) may be due to the home being terraced and it not being possible to fit the meter box on an outside wall adjacent to the kitchen units. Move of a concern is not the location of the consumer unit but the height. There is conflict between strictly complying  the accessibility requirement of the mobility regulations (Part M) and sensible heath and safety. At "waist height" this electricity box could easily be accessed by small children.  The generally agreed acceptable height is 1500mm above floor level.  This can be moved. "Cant be done" doesn't exist in housebuilding. More like "too expensive" "too time consuming"  Houses can be demolished and re built so "cannot be done" is another lie!

Moving the cloakroom at the expense of space in your living room is probably the most serious of all the changes.  This will effect the property re sale value as well as the desirability. Indeed, you wouldn't have bought a home like this.

Under the Consumer Code housebuilders are required to provide all pertinent information to buyers so they can make an informed choice whether to buy or not. You should have been made aware of the bat boxes.  These will be a planning requirement. (The green environmental lobby has gone mad in this country.)  In all probability, no bats will ever move in, but you may find you have additional covenants in your title deeds allowing access by bat experts to inspect the box and any bats, possibly install cameras to monitor bats. You will almost certainly have to pay for the box to be maintained, perhaps even the inspections.   Your solicitor should tell you about this. Hopefully you haven't used any firm suggested by the builder. Under the Code (2.5) they cannot force you to use their pet firm of solicitors, but many housebuilders do.

It appears that your housebuilder is making it up as they build your home. they clearly don't know what they are doing and care nothing about quality, service or even respect your home by writing obscenities on your walls!  You must make your own decision but taking everything into account, my advice would be not to buy this home.

If you are forced to buy it, then you will need proof such as copies of plans, letters, emails, recordings of conversations with the builder's staff to prove your case should you decide to make a claim using the Consumer Code Adjudication Scheme  In any event, please do not legally complete at the end of this month just so the CEO can get his bonus. Housebuilders must give you 14 days notice in writing to legally complete after the home has been "finalled" by Building Control inspector. and the warranty provider.  It really sounds like they have no chance of completing your home in the next week of so - anyway it most certainly could not have passed a final inspection as it is.

Lastly, if you do buy (and I really hope you can pull out) please get the home professionally and independently snagged and inspected before you legally complete. That way all the snags, defects and regulatory and warranty standard breaches of requirements can be potentially sorted out before you move in.  I only recommend Martyn Maxwell of brickkickers.co.uk 

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.