Following Persimmon being featured on BBC Watchdog and in my view let off lightly, last month, the BBC Watchdog office has been contacted by hundreds of disgruntled Persimmon new home buyers from as many as sixty different developments across the country with their experiences of unfinished homes, defects and poor customer care. See the Persimmon BBC Watchdog clip here
Homes not finished
On couple featured on last nights programme were Charlotte and Ashley Read who bought a new home on Persimmon’s Waters Edge estate in Cheshire. When they were handed the keys to their brand new £190,000 new home they found:
“it looked like a half finished house. Everything was a mess there were things incomplete, no rainwater pipes” causing damp and mould inside our home. I couldn’t believe we paid money for this, it was disgusting”
It took Persimmon THREE MONTHS to finally “sort everything out”
Other new home buyers also found Persimmon’s contractors still working in their homes when they came to move in – “the house wasn’t finished but Persimmon had declared it to be ready and taken their money anyway.”
The CML final certification was brought in to prevent housebuilders handing over unfinished new homes. The Council for Mortgage Lenders initiative requires this completion certificate, along with confirmation that the new home warranty is in place, before they release the mortgage funds. So how and why can a new home be signed off by a supposedly independent Building Inspector, quite often the NHBC, when clearly it anything but complete? How can the “inspectors,” the site manager and everyone else, miss something as obvious and quick and easy to fit as no rainwater downpipes?
The CML final inspection should to be made 14 days before the legal completion date. This is to give the solicitors and mortgage provider a minimum “14 days notice” to arrange for the funds and also would provide new home buyers with an opportunity to properly inspect their “finished home.” How is this notice period being avoided by Persimmon (and other housebuilders) especially in the weeks and days before their financial year end cut-off date?
Bovis homes’ website proudly (if somewhat unbelievably) claims:
“We build some of the best new homes in the UK.
We pride ourselves on being one of the country’s leading housebuilders and have established an enviable reputation for the quality of our build and design, high specification and excellent customer service.”
Well they would say that – but it can it be justified?
The truth was confirmed last Friday when the NHBC announced the 2015 winners of its Pride in the Job competition. “The NHBC Pride in the Job is the only UK-wide competition dedicated to recognising site managers who achieve the highest standards in house-building.”
Bovis site managers failed to win a single NHBC Quality Award!
For the first time in eight years, Bovis became the only large national plc housebuilder not employ a single site manager worthy of an NHBC Quality Award. Out of an average 97 “active sites” in 2014, not one of their site managers stood out above the crowd. Not one was able to demonstrate he cared about the quality of the homes built on his site. Not one possessed the “wide range of site management skills from technical knowledge and consistency in the build process to leadership and organisational skills, and achieving the highest possible standards and best practice in house building” that the NHBC judges were looking for.
No one cares at Bovis! They cannot even be botherd to set up a sprinkler to water new turf!
At last people are starting to ask why do estate agents still exist. As I have said before, in a previous blog there is now no longer any need to use a high street estate agent to sell your house. Everything they used to do can be done using an online agent for less than £1,000, irrespective of the selling price in most cases. The only thing left for sellers to do is show potential buyers around their home. After all the owner will know more about the property than the estate agent, however good they say they are, ever will. If necessary, even viewings can be sub contracted out for minimal extra cost.
So why do estate agents still exist? Why exactly! It could be that older sellers are reluctant to trust the new technology or do not have confidence online. It could be vendors choose to take the easy, traditional option despite the thousands of pounds they are wasting unnecessarily. More likely it is the fact that estate agents are “like the proverbial giant squid “sticking its tentacles into everything property that smells like money.”