“Within two days of buying this house, I was reporting problems with the central heating. I wish everyone would take them to court.”
Kerri Driver has been dealing with leaky pipes, dodgy drains and “cascading water” from the very week she moved into her new-build home in Lace Hill in October 2015.
The second the mother and former police officer moved into her shared ownership home, with her 18-month-old daughter, she was on the phone to Bovis Homes, the developer who had built the property.
At the end of 2017 Bovis accepted liability for faults in the house’s construction and agreed to pay Kerri for the damages.
She walked The Advertiser through where things had gone wrong.
“After my first complaint, I was left without heating and hot water for four weeks - we went to bed shivering. There was lots of ‘oohing and aahing’ over whose fault it is,” Kerri explained, “seven months later, I was on the phone again, because of a pool of water running along my living room ceiling and wall.”
After a struggle to resolve the fault, where Bovis had incorrectly installed a part of the plumbing, Kerri didn’t need to contact the builders again. Until this year.
“I came downstairs on October 20, to a puddle in the kitchen. I switched on the lights, there was a buzz, and everything went off.”
With Bovis refusing to take responsibility, Kerri sought the help of builders and plumbers, and paid for the damages out of her own pocket.
“Bovis tried to claim I was outside of my two year warranty, but I had flagged faults since the very beginning and I kept a record.”
“I'm an ex-police officer, taking them to court wouldn't intimidate me at all. It's a big company against a single mum, to be fair, but it's the principle of it all. This is the only language they understand, they don't understand common decency.”
"For me, keeping a three year old at bay with the carpet grippers up, that was the challenge. You try and keep a three-year-old out of her bedroom because there's hole in the floor. They've got no concept whatsoever of the decisions they make and the real impact they have."
A Bovis Homes Spokesperson said: “We are pleased this issue has been resolved and we will continue to seek ways to improve our quality and service.
"We have made significant changes to the way we work in the last year and our Lace Hill location has proved very popular, with all homes now sold out.
"An independent survey also shows that more than eight in ten customers across our Northern Home Counties region would be happy to recommend us to family and friends. ”