Weak mortar, faulty drainage, unfinished fittings … for many buyers of newly built properties in Britain, their dream home quickly turns into a nightmare. Last week, it emerged that residents had to move out of a recently completed Manchester apartment block, Islington Wharf Mews, because it breaks fire safety rules. But their tale of woe is far from unusual. More than half of buyers of new-build homes in England have had major problems with construction, unfinished fittings and faults with utilities, according to housing charity Shelter. The government branded the housing market “broken” in its housing white paper last month. Bovis Homes, one of Britain’s biggest housebuilders, recently had to set aside £7m to repair poorly built new homes sold to customers, and its interim boss publicly apologised to customers. The Home Builders Federation, an industry body, and the National House Building Council (NHBC), the main warranty provider for new homes, carry out an annual customer satisfaction survey in which most companies score four or five stars. However, Bovis has slipped to three stars from a top rating five years ago, while Persimmon, which owns the upmarket Charles Church brand, has also seen its rating dip to three stars. The latest… Read full this story
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