A recent episode of Rip Off Britain featured the nightmarish story of thirteen families who have recently discovered their new-build homes are virtually worthless.
The estate in question was built next to an old landfill site that has been inactive for 40 years, but still emitted methane gas. The shocked homeowners have discovered that, because they have no proof the contractors installed special membranes into the properties, in line with the planning permissions, their houses are now effectively worthless. What’s more, their professional advisers didn’t flag up the issue at the time of purchase when their pre-purchase surveys were completed.
In the UK new-build homes are usually covered by a 10-year home warranty and insurance guarantee. This provides purchasers with protection where there are issues with the construction of the property. However, rather frustratingly, this protection does not cover properties that contravene planning regulations.
Many of the homeowners have been left in hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of debt. As a result, they have resorted to taking legal action to correct the mistake and recover their losses.
This is an extreme example of what can go wrong when building houses. Surveys undertaken by the Government and the House Builders Federation since 2005 confirm that one third of new-build buyers say that their homes have more problems than they expected. This is simply not acceptable when it comes such an expensive purchase.
At Bell Lax we have extensive experience in construction and home purchase disputes. We understand that your home is incredibly personal, and you deserve it to be built to the promised standard. We can help resolve your dispute by assisting with the instruction of a surveyor to investigate the extent of any defects and recover compensation or a practical remedy from your developer. We can also advise you as to whether your solicitor or surveyor has been negligent in not spotting any defects at the time of purchase.