Couple’s heartbreak after discovering £385k new-build dream was ‘uninhabitable’

Don’t miss a thing! Sign up to the Daily Star’s newsletter

A couple claim their new-build became "uninhabitable" after their £385,000 dream home quickly turned into a nightmare.

Sallyann Smith, 23, and fiancé Gareth Hawkins, 26, recalled how they uncovered "thick, black mould" in the kitchen of their three-bedroom house in Maldon, Essex.

It kick-started weeks of stress for the couple and resulted in them moving out as the kitchen was dismantled piece by piece.

The couple claim the saga has cost them £5,000 in total.

The developer, Crest Nicholson, said it had now completed all works relating to the kitchen and hopes to bring the couple's complaint to a "satisfactory close".

Sallyann, who was seven months pregnant at the time, said: "I saw mould under the kitchen cupboards so I emailed Crest Nicholson and they agreed to deal with it – but after that it was radio silence.

"The bottom of the skirting board was covered in black, thick mould.

"A manager eventually agreed investigate it. In September, someone came to inspect the property. But then the site manager left the company, and things went from bad to worse.

"A person was sent out to clean it, but we asked for a new unit because of the severe damp damage.

  • Inside world's oldest surviving bungalow up for sale with £2million price tag

"They took the kitchen apart and a temperature check on the walls by a damp specialist we hired ourselves found the property's walls were 99.9 per cent wet.

"After that, the team put the kitchen back but left the oven out, the cupboards were taken out and there were holes in the wall. This went on for a week.

"At one point one of the customer services employees came in and said it smelt bad to which I responded 'I know and you expect me to live like this'.

"We were left with literally no kitchen – back to the bare block because of mould".

Sallyann says she had to do her washing-up in a bucket while she was eight months pregnant.

  • Couple find two WWII bombs stashed in loft sparking urgent bomb squad evacuation

"The house was effectively sold to us unfinished. So much so that we had to move out and live with family," she said.

"We are now financially out of pocket from having to buy food out, go to family members who live 30 miles away for dinner and wash our clothes at a launderette.

"But we had to move out, so we were paying for that, the mortgage, water, council tax and all other costs in a property that we couldn't live in.

"The house was uninhabitable. I have sent them the breakdown of costs four times.

"It amounts to around £5,000, including all the times I had to miss work because I'd been told someone was coming to inspect the property – when often no one turned up."

Crest Nicholson, which reported a pre-tax profit of £86.9million last year, offered to cover £500 of the couple’s out of pocket expenses.

A Crest Nicholson spokesperson said: "We are aware of Mrs Smith's concerns and, following various assessments, have now successfully completed all works relating to her kitchen.

"We continue to be in conversation with Mrs Smith and hope to draw the matter to a satisfactory close for all parties concerned as soon as possible.”

  • Property

Source: Read Full Article