Tag Archives: persimmon

Persimmon counter claim against their buyer for £8,000 for the cost of repairing his house!

Persimmon issue counter claim to recover cost of repairing new house in Sunderland.

Persimmon Homes, rated just three stars by their own customers in the industry’s  “satisfaction survey,” appear go out of their way to be confrontational and intransigent to any customers who take issue with the builder. The phrase “the Customer is always right” isnt even on their radar if this story from the North East Evening Chronicle is anything to go by.

Vince Wareham Persimmon Render Photo

An unhappy Vince Wareham outside his Persimmon new home at Alexander Park in Sunderland.

New homebuyer Vince Wareham told the Chronicle about his shock when he learned Persimmon were taking legal action against him in an £8,000 counter claim, after he decided to take the house builder to court, claiming £2,950 in compensation for remedial works carried out on his new home.

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Have Persimmon Tried To Buy A Better HBF Star Rating?

Can buyers trust HBF  builder Star Ratings?

The HBF National new home customer satisfaction survey is now in its eleventh year. The house builder star ratings (awarded by the HBF) “are allocated according to the proportion responding Yes..” to Question 1 of the survey: “Would you recommend your builder to a friend?…. Yes or No”    The more that respond “Yes”, the better the builder’s star rating.

During research for a previous article concerning claims made by the HBF in the 2016 survey results, I considered the possibility that builders’ sales and site management may be influencing their buyers to respond more favourably in the NHBC 8-week survey. After enquiring on social media, buyers from Britain’s two largest house builders, Persimmon and Barratt, who together built over 31,000 new homes last year, publicly expressed their opinions and claims:

Persimmon HBF SurveyJP (16 October 2015) said: “I’ve bought a recent new build from Persimmon and o boy what a joke their after sales are. I would like to point out I love my flat it’s them that annoy me. We have all been bullied and harassed to tick the first box on the NHBC survey that we would recommend a friend. Obviously didn’t tick it and because I naively ticked share my opinions Persimmon are now treating me like dirt……They were ringing us Saturday and Sunday and I quote “If I do you a favour now, you can do me a favour and tick the first box” They didn’t give a **** about our problems just whether we had said yes or no.”

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Help To Buy Helps Trigger Large Bonus Windfalls

Help to Buy helps trigger large bonus windfalls for housebuilder CEOs and senior directors.
Help To Buy jpgOn 17 March 2014 shares in the housebuilders surged up to 6% as George Osborne announced he was extending the Help to Buy Equity Share on new homes, until 2020. The announcement came less than a year after Help to Buy first became available. It had originally been due to end next year! However the second part of Help to Buy, the UK-wide mortgage guarantee scheme, is still due to finish at the end of December 2016.

At the time the chancellor announced that an extra £6bn would be put into the English scheme, allowing a further 120,000 new homes to be built. However there is little evidence that the housebuilders are responding by building more homes despite Help to Buy “helping” them to around 35% of their sales last year.

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Buyers from 60 different Persimmon developments contact BBC Watchdog, revealing poor quality and customer service issues are a nationwide problem.

Buyers beware!

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?

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Three star Persimmon homes get off lightly on BBC Watchdog 21 May 2015

“Why choose Persimmon?”  it says their website. Why indeed.
It remains a complete mystery to me why anyone in his or her right mind would actually choose to buy a new home from Persimmon. Especially when they can choose to buy from any five-star rated housebuilder with a history of winning NHBC awards for quality. Or at least avoid the worst of the housebuilders – those featured on national television programmes and in newspaper columns for both the poor standard of the homes they build and the lack of any resemblance of customer care when homebuyers discover the inevitable snags and defects, missed by the so called professionals employed by housebuilders such as Persimmon.

I am amazed that year after year, naïve young homebuyers get taken in by Persimmon’s marketing spin, some ending up in tears on national television with their fully preventable tales of woe. Preventable, because their homes could have been built with greater care. Preventable, because they could be built more slowly and all stages thoroughly checked and inspected by Persimmon site management, the warranty provider and building control inspectors. Preventable, because the government could and should introduce new legislation to protect all new homebuyers and provide an independent means of dispute resolution in the form of an Ombudsman for New Homes, rather than rely on a Consumer Code for Home Builders, set up and managed by housebuilders and other interested parties.

Talk is cheap.

All housebuilders make exaggerated claims about the homes they build and the “service” they offer to customers. Only in housebuilding could 93% of buyers experience a problem. Only in housebuilding would 47% of buyers be expecting the number of defects and problems they get. Yet they still buy new homes, year after year. Maybe they get taken in and assured by statements like these:

“Persimmon Pledge:
From the moment our customers reserve one of our new homes, we pledge to make the experience enjoyable and informative each step of the way.

 

We aim to take care of our customers, not just when they are buying but also when they have moved into their new home. All of our staff are trained to provide a high level of customer service and to deliver our comprehensive pre-move and after sales pledge to our customers.” 

 

“Quality Assured
“On completion of your new home we will provide you with a quality assured certificate for you to keep within your Masterfile.”

Pity their homes are not 100% complete when some of their buyers are told they are! Persimmon also state on their website that:

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HBF Survey Housebuilder Star Rating 2015

Barratt HBF Star rating

Highest Quality Housebuilder? Not exactly!

Before 2011, the star rating of  housebuilder’s was also based on the question: “Taking everything into account, overall how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the quality of your home?”  over the last three years the star rating awarded to housebuilders is derived from the responses to just one Yes or No survey question:“Would you recommend your builder to a friend?”

Of the bigger housebuilders only Barratt, Redrow, McCarthy and Stone and Miller maintained their 5 star rating from last year.  Taylor Wimpey, Bellway, Bloor, Crest, and Churchill Retirement Living, all lost their five star rating. Persimmon, Bovis and Avant also lost a star and are now the only housebuilders rated just 3 stars in the latest HBF National New Home Customer Satisfaction Survey.  Just how bad are their new homes?

So why are standards getting worse and who is to blame?
Guilty Housebuilder CEOsThese men are all guilty – guilty of building and handing over new homes late, not fully completed, with defects and failing to provide the required level of customer care to ensure that all their buyer’s problems are rectified quickly and effectively. Britain’s least wanted! – Lacking in star quality?  They may have stars in their eyes but now have fewer on their site flags!

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A personal plea to Construction Minister Nick Boles

Dear Mr Boles,
You recently said that you regard house builders as the “unacceptable face of capitalism” after seeing first hand the shoddy workmanship of two house builders in your own constituency, adding housebuilders   “need to design beautiful places that respect the local environment, and they need to build houses to a high quality which will stand the test of time. If they don’t, I cannot and will not defend them.”

I have been campaigning for 8 years via my website www.brand-newhomes.co.uk and my blog www.new-home.blog.co.uk to make the public more aware of the poor quality and design of new homes and housebuilders’ poor and often non-existent after sales service.

Your government has done more for the house building industry than any other government and continues to be the “gift that keeps on giving”. Only this week, stamp duty was reformed. Whilst this is good news for the majority UK house buyers and very welcome, it is also particularly good news for housebuilders, now able to increase their prices even more now that stamp duty threshold ‘chokes’ have been removed. This follows the 20% discount on new homes for first-time buyers under 40, in addition to: NewBuy, FirstBuy and the biggest taxpayer subsidy of all: “Help to Buy” which has ‘helped’ house builders to record profit rises by increasing average selling prices by 20%. Furthermore, your government has relaxed planning rules, requirements to build affordable housing,  Section 106 obligations, Community Infrastructure Levy and the zero-carbon homes policy. There has never been a better time to be a major British home builder.  Ask, and ye shall receive!

If it was not for the dogged determination of Kirsty Burton and her neighbours, perhaps you would never have witnessed first hand the dire quality standards at a Persimmon estate in your constituency. You personally also discovered the complete contempt housebuilders have for anyone calling them to task over the quality of their homes and their indifference to dealing with defects in their customer’s homes. Quite frankly, if a government minister is unable to get a satisfactory response from Persimmon CEO Jeff Fairburn, what chance have the buyers of this company’s new homes?

But please do not make the mistake that this is a new phenomenon,  restricted to just one or two housebuilders on a handful of developments. It is a national epidemic!

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Why a certain types of person buy new homes from particular housebuilders

Have you ever wondered what type of person buys a new home from particular house builders?

For a bit of fun at this time of year, we came up with the idea of trying to figure out the type of people who buy new homes – their personality, background, social class etc for each of the major house builders.

We already knew that new home buyers are generally people who cannot do DIY, that hate gardening, but like living with strangers looking at them watching television and have few possessions and small furniture!

We also already presumed that Persimmon home buyers would mostly comprise of Sun readers, gullible people who eat bad diets and vote on X factor. Who look for homes near a tattoo parlour, bookmaker, chip shop would be essential.

So this year we asked the gifted satirist “Ted Da Yonga” to come up with something. “Ted” is the author of the Mr Anthrop’s Blogspot “A tale of corporate greed, callousness and moral bankruptsy which started in reaction to an outrageous claim by Persimmon Homes and has since become a series of fictitious (mostly!) satirical stories based on real life situations facing the many buyers of new homes.

As with all Ted’s work please note it is satire – “this means it is for entertainment only and is not true. Mr Anthrop accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or otherwise of this information – it is all untrue. If you are a house developer reading this, well done –  ‘No child left behind’ is working!”

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Persimmon fail to fix defect in new home for 9 months

Buyer Cara Waligura reported a nasty smell emanating from the bathroom of her new Persimmon home soon after she moved into her new home on the South Shore estate opposite Blyth beach. But Persimmon failed to resolve the drainage problem until recently – nine months after it was first reported!

She told “Mr Justice” of the Evening Chronicle how Persimmon’s contractors left a “gaping hole” in the bathroom whilst trying to identify the source of the stench. She said: “Our new home stinks and so does Persimmon!”

Durgo

Defective “Durgo” was the cause

“Since moving into our newly-built home in January we have had to endure a horrible drainage smell in the bathroom. We are now nine months into complaining but we are getting no joy. After many calls and tears we still have a hole in the bathroom wall and an awful stink in all of the upstairs.”

Apparently even the NHBC issued three warnings to Persimmon to carry out work that is required under their Buildmark warranty.

John Eynon, deputy managing director for Persimmon Homes North East, told the Evening Chronicle: “This issue has been on-going for some time but time-scales have been agreed for it to be resolved.   I would stress that the design complied with building regulations and NHBC technical guidance at the time of occupation and was accepted by the NHBC.   Subsequent investigations and works to try and remove the smell have been ongoing and the final solution was agreed with the NHBC to vent the soil pipe to the atmosphere, in lieu of the durgo valve that had been fitted.  Unfortunately, there was a delay in completing the works due to organising suitable sub-contractors to minimise disruption.   We apologise that the problem was not quickly identifiable but the solution should resolve the matter now.   I have personally made several attempts to contact the customer whilst my customer care team have been dealing with the issue.”

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Do the NHBC give Quality Awards only to site managers building high quality new homes?

The NHBC 2014 ‘Pride in the Job’ Quality Awards have recently been announced and it is clear that most of the major house builders have not improved the quality of the homes they build.  See the house builder league tables here for awards in 2014 and previous years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast year Barratt made history with 102 of their site managers winning awards for quality. This year, despite building more homes on more sites, Barratt won 13 fewer awards – 89 in total, followed by Taylor Wimpey with 70 – just two more than last year!

The remainder of the largest house builders won just a handful of quality awards, much as they did last year – Linden 5, Bellway 29, Redrow 13, Crest 12, Bovis 4 and Berkeley 12. The biggest shock was again Persimmon, the largest house builder by market value, winning a pitiful 8, even less than the meagre 13 their site managers won in 2013!   Clearly this company has problems and appears to be indifferent to the quality of the homes it builds.

It is becoming an increasing concern that the NHBC hand out awards to certain builder’s site managers regardless of their personal management ability or the quality of homes built on their site.  TWPITJ1Last year, the NHBC gave Taylor Wimpey’s Richard Crawford a Quality Award for his site at The Chariots in Andover.  Since then, many unlucky homebuyers have discovered  their homes were not only poor quality, but in some cases also potentially dangerous, with various electrical faults despite passing an “inspection” and incorrectly wired boilers.  Taylor Wimpey 9 months small sizeOne buyer (full story here) has taken over 35 days off work to allow various trades access to his home to fix and repair the defective workmanship. So far (8 months on) CEO Peter Redfern has failed to get personally involved and has not even replied to the owner’s many detailed letters.   Yet this site manager won an NHBC Award for “Quality” for this site!

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