Friday, August 19, 2022

Residents at new build development face major issues


Burrstone Gardens, a project in Merstham by Raven Homes, was constructed by a developer on their behalf who also took charge of the aftercare of those who’d purchased properties

Two residents at a new-build estate in Surrey have described their nightmare experiences of leaks, holes in the walls and ceiling, a faulty lock and even a lice infestation.

Burrstone Gardens, a private project in Merstham by Raven Homes, was constructed by a developer on their behalf who also took charge of the aftercare of those who’d purchased properties.

But after a string of complaints, Raven has decided to take control of the aftercare, with residents complaining of unanswered calls and emails following a raft of issues over several months that saw residents from at least two properties having to find temporary accommodation.

Johnny Wolf, who owns one of the houses in Folkestone Terrace within the development of around fifty homes, said: This has been an ongoing issue for at least eight to ten months.

We actually have walls currently that have openings in them from when some of the houses have had leaks and the developers have come over to open the wall but they didn’t fix the leak or even the wall after opening it, he said.

Mr Wolf explained that the difficulty with the developers started from even before they moved in, in February 2020.

There were delays since we made the purchase, like six months due to various excuses like Covid and lack of materials, he said.

Each one of us could tell you a story about these delays, some of us ended up being homeless for a week as a result, he said.

Mr Wolf and his partner Karolina Poloczek had to stay in an Airbnb during this period, and found it extremely difficult to arrange a place to stay at short notice during lockdown that would accommodate them and their two dogs.

The problems continued after they moved in, and they had major leaks in their house.

The kitchen ceiling was destroyed, the cupboards were destroyed, and it took them ages to fix the outcome of the leaks, he said. When they did come to fix the leaks, they left the ceiling open.

Mr Wolf said a number of issues have not been resolved. He said: The biggest problem between us and them is the way they treat us. We have a contract with them which states that their aftercare services should respond between 72 hours and 28 days depending on the severity of the issue but it’s been months.

All we get from them is excuses and it’s gotten to the point where it’s quite insulting, he said.

Edyta Ptaszek, who owns another one of the houses in the project, said: As soon as we moved in there were a number of issues with the property.

The washing machine wasn’t connected to the right pipes so water wasn’t actually going to the washing machine, one of the main doors has a hole near the bottom which means wind blows in all the time; since March we haven’t had any heating in the main bathroom, she said.

Ms Ptaszek sent her first email to the developers regarding the issues she was experiencing around January 12, and said that she still feels nothing has been done to fully resolve these issues.

Raven Homes claims any outstanding issues are either fixed or ‘in-hand’ after deciding to take the aftercare in-house following a series of complaints.

Mr Wolf and a number of residents tried to escalate the issues to higher management, but later approached the National House Building Council (NHBC), which has since been working with Raven to help resolve the issues.

A spokesperson from Raven Homes said: We are really sorry that the aftercare some of our customers have received since moving into their new homes at Burrstone Gardens has not been of the high standard we would expect.


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