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Builders apologise over ‘dangerous’ faults in new home

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 March 2020

George Skipper and Rhiannon Jennings recently moved into a brand new Kier  property and have had huge problems with damp and now the electrics  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

George Skipper and Rhiannon Jennings recently moved into a brand new Kier property and have had huge problems with damp and now the electrics Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A resident on a new development near Sudbury has hit out at housebuilder Kier Homes over electrical and damp problems with the new property.

George Skipper and Rhiannon Jennings recently moved into a brand new Kier property and have had huge problems with damp and now the electrics  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGeorge Skipper and Rhiannon Jennings recently moved into a brand new Kier property and have had huge problems with damp and now the electrics Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

George Skipper said the final straw came after he was cooking in the kitchen of the £180,000 two-bedroomed apartment in Kier Living's Elm Croft development when he smelled burning.

Moments later the power cut out as the electric supply was tripped. He called out an electrician who investigated the wiring to the oven and found a burned out main switch.

Mr Skipper said: "He said the wiring was so bad that the switch had burned out and was a real fire hazard.

"I can only assume that if my wiring is of this standard then so must other properties.

The burned out switch from the oven at the house in Long Melford. Picture: GEORGE SKIPPERThe burned out switch from the oven at the house in Long Melford. Picture: GEORGE SKIPPER

"Damp and mould is bad enough but to have a switch melting behind walls in a new-build should not be happening at all.

"It's not good enough, and the next person this happens to might not be so lucky."

Mr Skipper, a sales manager for an engineering firm, who lives in the apartment with his partner Rhiannon Jennings, said he had been locked in a dispute with Kier Living over damp throughout the property ever since he moved into the apartment last June just after it was built.

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"I had two dehumidifiers running for over two months, 24 hours a day and collecting six litres of water a day," he said.

"You could leave a T-shirt on the bedroom floor overnight and the following day it would be wet.

"When I complained to Kier they just said 'That's what happens with a new house'.

"I know that a lot of water does go into building a new house but a property should not be this damp on completion of sale and someone moving in."

The couple say clothing and posessions have been ruined by damp in their new home. Picture: GEORGE SKIPPERThe couple say clothing and posessions have been ruined by damp in their new home. Picture: GEORGE SKIPPER

Mr Skipper said he had submitted a claim of £800 to Kier for compensation for damaged property and mould treatment, but the company would only offer him £500.

He said: "I'm just not getting anywhere with them, they are no help. They just fob you off and they get away with it."

Mr Skipper said he was now speaking to the National Homes Building Confederation, the house construction warranty and insurance provider for new and newly-converted homes in the UK.

A Kier spokesperson said: "We are committed to delivering high quality homes for our customers. On this occasion, we have fallen short of our usual high standards and would like to apologise to Mr Skipper.

The couple say clothing and posessions have been ruined by damp in their new home. Picture: GEORGE SKIPPERThe couple say clothing and posessions have been ruined by damp in their new home. Picture: GEORGE SKIPPER

"As a responsible housebuilder, we have been in regular contact with Mr Skipper and addressed all of the issues that have been raised and offered to meet his reasonable expenses in the matter."

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