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New build ‘House of Horrors’

We speak to a Leicestershire family suffering as a result of a poor quality new build home. Watch their interview with ITV.


A Leicestershire family has spoken on ITV news of their stress levels hitting the roof after buying a new home with a litany of faults.

“House of Horrors”

Paul Smith and his wife and their four children, including a son with a severe spinal disability, bought a detached home in Loughborough two years ago.

Paul says: “Our dream home is actually a House of Horrors. We have a list of 150 faults and snags, of which 80 are still not resolved after nearly two years. Faults included a chimney that looks structurally unsafe, radiators hanging off the wall, a garage door that looks ready to drop off and what appears and smells like a ‘public sewer’ in the back garden.

“Since we moved in nearly two years ago we have been fighting with the developer to get severe defects in the drainage system put right, but each time they only seem to be looking at part of the problem. The drains get blocked regularly because of subsided pipes and poor drainage installation in ours and neighbouring properties.”

Building regulations not met?

“Drainage does not match the site plans and violates building regulations. I still have no building regulations nearly two years on!

The local authority sent us written evidence that the developer knew the drains needed correction before being signed off but this never happened – yet the local authority is not taking any action.

“The house was sold to us, knowing the drains needed work, and now they will not fix them.

How we managed to get our mortgage funds released is amazing as the terms of our mortgage have not been met due to the lack of building regulations!”

Paul has had to clean waste from his home and his neighbours’ homes with a jet washer himself and he and his family have had to move out twice when the drains completely blocked, meaning his disabled son had to sleep on his grandmother’s floor for several weeks.

Paul says he has been told to contact the National House Builders Council and is desperate to have the problems put right.

Snagging Retention

Unsurprisingly, Paul supports our snagging retention campaign for holding back cash from builders until they deliver quality homes.

Paul’s story follows a HomeOwners Alliance recent survey that found that almost 9 in 10 (88%) new build homeowners and three-quarters (76%) of UK adults want ‘snagging retention’, a system to withhold funds to house builders until they rectify faults.

The figures come from our Annual HomeOwners Survey, polled by YouGov, looking at new build homeowner satisfaction throughout the purchase and ownership experience.

Advice and services to help

We have lots of free advice and can connect you with a professional snagging surveyor to help get yourself heard and your problems fixed.


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