Blandford couple's new home dream shattered by rotten floor and loose bricks
THE dream of owning their own home has turned into a nightmare for a Blandford couple who have waited six months for repairs to their new-build flat.
April Swinburne says she has suffered sleepless nights as a result of the long list of problems with her flat on the Persimmon Homes development at Badbury Heights.
The 22-year-old said she and boyfriend William Wilson scrimped and saved to purchase the second floor flat but have experienced so many problems with the property since moving in last March that they wish they’d never bothered.
She said that she expected “teething problems” such as cracks and split floorboards as the property settled but has also ended up spending months with warped kitchen flooring and cupboards as a result of a leak from a washing machine that was fitted before they moved in.
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Miss Swinburne said she was also shocked when Persimmon Homes failed to fix broken roof bricks after she called to say they were loose. The bricks were left until one fell close to a parked car.
Problems began when Miss Swinburne and Mr Wilson noticed a stain on their kitchen flooring last July. Removal of the flooring revealed flooding caused by a leak from the washing machine waste pipe.
Persimmon Homes was notified of the problem and inspected the property two weeks later. A plumber visited two weeks after the inspection but had to make a temporary repair as he did not have the correct part. The damaged pipe was finally replaced several weeks later.
Miss Swinburne said, although the pipe was fixed, the washing machine has since broken down and they are unable to have new flooring fitted in the kitchen because the wooden floorboards are rotten and warped and need to be replaced.
“The floor is still terrible and we seem to find a new problem with the house every day. I call Persimmon every working day but they just aren’t listening,” she said.
“We were so excited about our new house but now I just want to pack up and leave it to rot. We just don’t know what is going to happen next and I’m losing sleep over it.”
According to Miss Swinburne, some of the problems she has tried to report have been potentially dangerous. She said she tried to contact Persimmon Homes two weeks ago when she noticed loose bricks on the roof of the flats. She was told the defect would be treated as an emergency and a builder would be sent out that day.
Last weekend one of the bricks fell just a few feet from a parked car.
“The bricks aren’t particularly heavy but would have caused a serious dent if they had hit a car, and they could have hospitalised a person,” she added.
“I left messages with Persimmon on Saturday and Sunday, and tried six times on Monday and four times on Tuesday but they’re just not picking up the phone. There’s still a loose brick up there.”
In a statement to the Blackmore Vale Magazine on Wednesday, Helen Kirk, customer care manager for Persimmon Homes South Coast, said: “Persimmon Homes takes customer satisfaction very seriously and we apologise if Miss Swinburne had difficulty contacting our office.
“However, we are now working closely with Miss Swinburne to resolve issues with her property and can confirm that we are in regular contact with her in a bid to reach a swift and satisfactory conclusion.
“Customers can contact us through our website or by contacting us on the 24-hour telephone helpline number given to them in their welcome pack. All incoming messages are logged and acted upon immediately.”