You won't believe the state these Bovis homes were sold in

Bovis promises action, and pledges £7 million fund to put things right

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When Danny Moffatt complained about a series of problems with his brand new Bovis home, he expected things to be sorted out quickly.

Instead, he's still waiting more than two years on - and new problems are still emerging. His latest complaint is about a banister that's coming apart from the stair post: "Dangerous for my kids. It's been on the snagging list for seven months," he says.

Danny is just one of thousands of unhappy customers who have been struggling to get their new homes properly finished. Some problems are comparatively minor; in other cases homeowners have reported more serious issues such as dodgy wiring or heavy floods.

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"I bought a new home from Bovis in Eastbourne - the house is nice but has so many faults and Bovis are so slow to fix. A simple lock on a shed door remains undone six months on," complains one.

"Other faults include doors not shutting properly, loose skirting board, blistering on ceiling, poor grouting. Have been trying to get a tile for the bathroom for the last two months - Bovis do not know the meaning of after sales service."

Today, though, these hard-done-by homeowners were given a glimmer of hope. Earl Sibley, Bovis's interim chief executive, has apologised to customers and announced a £7 million fund to put the problems right.

"Our customer service standards have been declining for some time and combined with the delays to production towards the year end, we have entered 2017 with a high level of customer service issues," he admitted.

"Our customer service proposition has failed to ensure that all of our customers receive the expected high standard of care."

He said the company now plans to take on more customer service staff to deal with complaints, create a dedicated homebuyers' panel and improve its quality assurance processes.

Some customers will be paid back money they've forked out themselves for urgent work, and some will also get compensation.

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Part of the problem appears to be caused by rushing to hit sales targets - the company's already admitted offering some housebuyers thousands of pounds to persuade them to move into unfinished homes.

It now says it will build fewer homes this year.

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If you have a problem with a new-build home, most have a 10-year warranty for building problems, along with a developer's warranty, usually for two years, that covers fixtures and fittings.

If you don't get anywhere with a complaint, you can take it to the Consumer Code for Home Builders' Adjudication Scheme - although making a complaint will cost £100 plus VAT.

But, says Which?, "If you find that you're fobbed off by a builder when trying to get problems fixed, be persistent. Small problems can add up and be costly, so don't settle for a finish that isn't up to scratch."


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