Although the primary service we provide to our clients is a professional snagging inspection and subsequent report, some of the most common issues we support our customers with occur outside of the inspection. More specifically when it comes to guiding our customers with the best way to deal with developers and/or warranty providers, that perhaps aren’t as proactive as they have made themselves out to be on that first day walking into the site sales suite.
One such customer we’ve supported in this way is John Gaskell. After months of struggling with little progress, John is now taking on his developer publicly in an attempt to further expose the slipping standards of new build homes to the buying population.
“This is not about my experience,” John told the Mirror in a recent interview, “Developers do this knowing full-well that the average homebuyer can ill-afford to fight them due to the complications and costs of doing so.”
John’s experience will not sound unfamiliar to most of our customers. Having initially hired an independent inspector, his first report consisted of mostly cosmetic issues that were promptly resolved or reimbursed by his developer. It wasn’t until he moved into the property that far more significant issues started to emerge.
“Once we had parted with our money and started living in the property, it became increasingly clear that the workmanship had been systemically poor and the initial faults discovered were just the tip of the iceberg,” John continued.
It’s at this point that John hired HouseScan both to account for the initial, shallow inspection he first received – and illustrate the full severity of the issues and take a more technical view of the property.
Despite having been signed-off by building control, his home did not comply with Part M disability access building regulations. Among the array of issues we found in the property were problems with the insulation, unsuitable floor coverings, poorly fitted wiring infrastructure and electrical components and significant thermal ingress.
Independent contractors valued the cost of rectifying some of the issues to total up to £35,000.
Armed with his HouseScan report, John has since launched a CrowdJustice campaign calling for safer laws to protect new buyers.
“It is a shockingly bad situation when the law generally gives more protections to someone that buys a toaster or a computer than when they invest their life savings in a new build home.
“It is about defending the principle that all new build homebuyers should expect defect-free safe homes, built to a professional standard which fully meet all the regulations, freeholders, and leaseholders alike.
Our director, Harry Yates, confirmed to the Times that we witness these situations “all too often”.
“During Mr Gaskell’s inspection a number of issues were noticed that fell short of building regulations and the warranty providers own technical standards,” he said.
“Although we frequently deal with customers who have good experiences, we all too often see developers and warranty providers under-delivering on their promises and duty of care and this is most certainly the case where Mr Gaskell’s home is concerned.
“Despite the developer referring to the problems as ‘largely cosmetic’, the estimated cost of rectifying the outstanding defects with Gaskell’s property is estimated at £35,000 to £45,000. This figure rises to over £50,000 if settled issues are included.”