Mike Firths Persimmon new build nightmare

publication date: Dec 9, 2018

I purchased this new build property on the 31st March 2017 from Persimmon Homes in Castleford, Yorkshire.

I have spent the last 19 months trying to get Persimmon to tackle the below building standard quality of the property. They have admitted to the poor quality in up to 10 meetings I have had with senior representatives from Persimmon, however they have failed to sort the problems. 

The first issue is the property wasn't built to plan and not the property I 'ordered'. However, they seem to be able to completely ignore this fact and don't seem to think it's an issue at all. 

A further ongoing issue is that we still haven’t been released from British gas for our electricity and gas, so have still not received any utility bills, despite us asking Persimmon on numerous occasions for this to be actioned, which like everything was promised to be done but never delivered.

I have had an independent survey from a RICs qualified surveyor which confirms the property has been built poorly and in many cases below the required NHBC building requirements. ( These building requirements are the bare minimum that a house can be built to, and the NHBC made it clear that they would not expect houses been built to only meet these minimum requirements.)

Having complained to NHBC, they too have confirmed the property has not been built to the required standard. In a recent inspection they identified 90 jobs which Persimmon needed to undertake.

I tried to get support from the legal company who I bought the property though by asking them where I stand contractually eg are Persimmon in breach of contract, which as they advised me on the contract I think is a fair request, however they have told me they can’t do anything, it’s a litigation issue.   

Out of sheer frustration of anyone at Persimmon actually doing anything, I reported the problems to ITV's This Morning and Kate Faulkner, an industry expert who was on the programme with me offered to help me with these issues. We both agreed taking the issue to NHBC was the best next step. 

Once NHBC were involved in September, a list of 90 jobs was agreed. I was promised by Persimmon the work would start on 5th November.

Tradespeople would turn up not knowing what they needed to do and then leave because they hadn’t the right tools, others would turn up unannounced, break into the garden by jumping over the fence, do half a job and then leave.

They have pretty much promised to come each week to start the work, but to no avail. The customer service and warranty person at Persimmon are either never in the office or don’t answer the phone to me and rarely return my phone calls or emails. 

Kate Faulkner has tried on my behalf, but in the main they have refused to return her emails/calls. It’s like dealing with a ‘brick wall’.  

As a result, we went back to NHBC for help as they are supposed to monitor the progress of the works, but it is clear they had no idea what was happening and at one point emailed an update which claimed work was being done following their conversations with Persimmon, however, we had to explain to them their update was completely inaccurate and out of date.

To date, NHBC has helped to get an agreed list of works for Persimmon to do, but this has not resulted in anything being done.   

In addition I was sold the house under ‘leasehold’ but understand that similar properties on the estate are now being sold under freehold – at the same price. I have tried to find out how much the freehold will cost, but have been told I will have to wait for two years.

They have finally this week started to carry out work, but this was only when they offered a third party to fix the property post Xmas (we understand so they can ‘rush’ completions before xmas) and we pointed out this missed the NHBC deadline of 21st December. So far their own tradespeople have made things worse not better, for example, leaving the shower they were supposed to have fixed leaking so badly it was unusable. 

I have all of the problems with Persimmon and NHBC recorded in emails and Kate has also been a further witness to their horrendous treatment – which currently has no end in sight.

I spent £220,000 on a new build property for my family – including a new baby of 16months and have spent all his life battling with Persimmon to fix problems they have admitted to, but are failing to fix.

Not only have we spent a lot of emotional stress on this ongoing battle, we have also had to spend money to gain advice from other professionals in order to have any impact within our meetings with the persimmon representatives. 

The problems Persimmon have caused has meant I have lost all of my holiday to ‘waiting in’ for tradespeople who rarely turn up and if they do either do another bad job or haven’t the tools to do the work required. I am having to take further time off next Tuesday 11th December with Persimmon and the NHBC to assess the work done to date as I am not convinced they have solved the problems.

Personally, this has been an incredibly time consuming, tiresome and lonely journey. Persimmon have failed to help me, the legal company I used has refused to get involved (we have this in writing) and NHBC has not provided the redress as yet promised in the warranty I was given. My only recourse now is to go to http://www.consumercode.co.uk/ but they want to charge me for their arbitration and I cannot ask them for help with the lease issue and I have to prove to them I have suffered financially – so the onus and cost is on me, not on Persimmon who are the ones in the wrong. 

The stress and impact on my family has been huge. Because I have been vocal about the problems with Persimmon, I have even received death threats and a member of staff at Persimmon has posted inappropriate comments online. They know about this, but have failed to apologise or do anything about it.  

Surely for someone who paid £220,000 for a property I should get more help and support than this for the problems I’m having to deal with this on my own?



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