Young couple endure two-year £50,000 nightmare with new-build home a ‘disaster’

A young couple have been living in temporary accommodation for four months after being turfed out of their new-build home so that £50,000 of repair work can be carried out.

Ashleigh, 27, and Jamie Pow, 29, thought they were living the dream when they bought a new build on the Waters Edge estate built by Bovis Homes at the Fremington army camp site in North Devon in December 2016.

But it is has turned into a two-year nightmare because, within two weeks, they realise their lounge ceiling was at different levels, reports Devon Live.

Not just that but the whole downstairs shook when someone was upstairs.

As well as fearing for their safety, they were also dismayed to have a long list of concerns which they have been continually battling to get put right through Bovis and their shared equity partner LiveWest.

Since last October they have been living in a temporary property on the housing estate and say they were promised it would only be for between four to six weeks.

However, at the beginning of February, they are still waiting to return home and have been told they should be able to within two weeks.

Ashleigh says the stress of what they have endured has led to a decline in her mental health meaning she has had to leave her job, and she has been diagnosed with a heart problem which she believes has been triggered by her anxiety.

She said: "I’m very shocked and disheartened by what we have gone through. We saved to buy our first house through shared ownership and looked at reviews and Bovis were five-star builders.

"Buying a house is the biggest debt we have ever been in. The fact it has taken two years to get to where we are now is a joke and we’re not the only ones.

"We’ve never had a direct apology from Bovis; they’ve never taken liability for what they have done."

Adding: "It has cost them £50,000 to rip our house apart and put it back together again.”

The work saw their entire ceiling ripped out and two thirds of the upstairs joists replaced, but when the couple went to accept the keys to their ‘finished’ home early this year, they said it was anything but.

Ashleigh said there was bubbled up plasterboard, sloppy paintwork, gaps around the front and back doors, the bathroom floor still sagged, there was poor patched rendering at the rear and an indoor adhesive had been used to stick paving slabs down.

They have refused to move back in until the works have been carried out to a satisfactory standard.

Ashleigh said: “My husband is a builder by trade and my brother is a carpenter so they know what the standards should be.

"This week they have pulled their finger out.

"I was aware one of heads of Bovis was at (the) house yesterday so I went over and told him how unhappy I was and that we had been going around in circles because every job they complete they make four other jobs because it’s not done properly.

“Originally they wanted us to move back in on December but when we viewed the property two days prior we still found so many problems that had not been sorted, but Bovis were pushing us to move in.

“Last Saturday I took carpenter to look at our home and he had more of a snagging list than what there was two weeks prior.”

The couple have still been paying council tax and standing charges for a house they don’t live in.

Ashleigh said: “Bovis says they have been in contact with us constantly but that’s a lie. Communication has been terrible and they lost our snagging list eight or nine times. It’s not good enough, and it’s still not good enough so many other people are suffering.

"They need to be shamed as it’s not right. I’ve not met a happy customer yet.”

A spokesman for LiveWest said: “We have been working with Bovis Homes to bring the matter to a swift conclusion and have been in regular contact with the customers to ensure they are fully up to date with the current situation.”

A Bovis spokesman said: “The absolute priority of our regional team is to deliver a quality home for Mr and Mrs Pow and LiveWest, and we apologise their customer journey with us has not been up to the standard we strive for since they moved in two years ago.

“The team has been in regular communication with Mr and Mrs Pow and LiveWest to progress the works, although the current dispute has meant our contractors had to delay carrying out the work inside the home.

“We are pleased to say the final interior work has now been complete and repair of the exterior render, hampered due to adverse weather, has been resolved and now requires painting.

“We have welcomed hundreds of happy customers to our popular Water’s Edge location, and while we strive to deliver a home of the highest quality, with any newly-built property there can sometimes be items that need to be addressed.

“We are sorry this has caused so much disruption for Mr and Mrs Pow, but we will continue to work closely with them, LiveWest and our contractors to ensure a successful resolution.”

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