Regulatory body for new builds?

by Readers Question

8:58 AM, 5th June 2019
About A year ago

Regulatory body for new builds?

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Regulatory body for new builds?

Having purchased a number of new builds over the last few years I’ve had a massive wake up call over the standards that we are forced to accept – with what I consider shoddy work is apparently classed as ‘within tolerance’ – along with snagging that goes on for over a year with some things agreed dropping off the list.

To add insult to injury I’m now finding that when outside ‘guarantee time’ leaks that are down to my demised area are all but impossible (obviously not impossible as walls can be knocked down and tiles broken through) to fix. The latest is a very slow drip from a bath mixer that has eventually leaked through to the flat downstairs. I appreciate this is my responsibility, but to get to this leak I’ve had to break through tiles, plasterboard and then a layer of plywood to get to the pipework and find that it is a failed soldered joint. The bath panel was fixed in place with a tiled ‘skirting’ so close to the hand basin that you can’t remove it without breaking it along with the tiles that would need to be broken to remove it and the whole area was sealed, also no service valves. The leak has very likely been going on since the place was finished, it’s going through the floor, the concrete original floor and the ceiling downstairs, but has not appeared under the leak but 3 meters further on.

The management’s job was to find the leak for the leaseholder downstairs and passed it to me to fix, they have no knowledge of the construction of the flat – I’ve spoken to the original developer who has acknowledged the rubbish work with the justification ‘we don’t use any of this team anymore’. We’ve had had to move on and deal with it – find matching tiles which is a nightmare as they are discontinued – or tile the whole bathroom or have an area in different tiles – the tiles I’ve found arrive today from a discontinued site so that is a decision to be made and likely to be a different shade of white.

What I’d like to know is, is there a regulatory body that we can go to when we are faced with 999 year leases and properties that don’t make it more than months over the guarantee period?

I know things fail, but this building has more than the usual number of leaks since it was handed over. It is so hot we don’t need to use the heating, floors where the joints are migrating – apparently within tolerance but I think now that my floor is damp from the leak and so many more bits and pieces (I have another where the only way to access the shower drain is to break the tiles of the upstand) – no one takes responsibility. I don’t expect my units to be maintained, but just stand up to every day living for a reasonable period of years, not months.

Another couple of units I have were built with water meters that cannot be accessed and so we pay water rates (well I don’t I had them assessed for a meter and been given the rate for properties where meters can’t be fitted – they seemed to have forgotten that they fitted them in the ceilings 5 years ago). The idea was to have some maintenance free years and concentrate on those I have that are 80/100 years old, but these are taking up more time now than the old ones.

I am still snagging properties bought this time last year and having to go back over a year’s worth of emails to prove some of the items were agreed – how do the developers get away with this? Are there no quality checks – who would think that you can’t remove a bath panel – get to the water meter? I’m just referred to ‘customer care’.

Harlequin Garden


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Comments

Michael Barnes

14:57 PM, 6th June 2019
About A year ago

How long is the guarantee period?

Doesn't NHBC guarantee give 10 years?


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