Advanced search think my NHBC guarantee isn't worth the paper its written on

(29 Posts)
MyHouseIsFallingDown Sat 20-Jun-15 18:35:13

Name changed as this will completely out me, but I need help from someone knowledgeable. Our house is in it's ten year NHBC guarantee. I made a complaint to NHBC IN August 2014, it is still not resolved. We have problems with our floor and drains and drive. We have had four site visits by two surveyors and an architect.

The architect and the surveyors report found our floor was faulty, it doesn't have expansion gaps in the chipboard so the floor heaves vertically instead of laterally. It doesn't have a vapour control layer. The floor is damaged from poor construction.

Our drains have not been cemented in properly, the manhole wobbles. The groundwork wasn't completed properly so we have a void within one metre of our foundations. The drains and foundations are damaged by poor constructio .

NHBC accept our floor and foundations have not been constructed correctly as per NHBC guidelines, or Building Control. However they continue to refuse the claim based on there isn't enough damage yet. Our drive is subsiding, and you cannot hear yourself think when you walk across the floor.

I've escalated this to Consumer Affairs at NHBC and to the Financial Ombudsman. What else can I do?? Please advise

DonkeyOaty Sat 20-Jun-15 18:38:45

I would be ringing bbc watchdog or maybe that Dom fellow on bbc1

So sorry for your woes

wonkylegs Sat 20-Jun-15 18:43:51

Unfortunately everybody who works in construction always says NHBC guarantees aren't worth the paper they are written on and they will try to wriggle out of every claim. Try watchdog, the papers as publicity is probably the best way to get them to fix it as they may do it to shut you up.

wonkylegs Sat 20-Jun-15 18:44:54

By the papers I mean something like the money section problem page in the guardian or the Sunday times rather than DM sad face.

dogscatsandbabies Sat 20-Jun-15 19:59:26

It's a nightmare op, I do sympathise. We had problems with movement in our property and when one of our neighbours had an extension they pulled a washing machine, a whole roll of carpet and 3 car exhausts out of the ground our foundations are in!

It was put to me like this- NHBC is essentially an insurance paid for by the builders. So, like any insurance company they'll refute most claims. We were persistent to the point of obsession, there were 5 other claimants in a small street, but still they kept saying there was no problem. Final agreement from them was "we agree it's moved more than you'd expect a house to, but it's stopped moving so there's no action to be taken." We're yet to see if it actually has stopped moving.

I agree with others- media probably your best bet.

MyHouseIsFallingDown Sat 20-Jun-15 21:26:27


MyHouseIsFallingDown Sat 20-Jun-15 21:33:06

Sorry, didn't see you replies, page hadn't refreshed. That is grim news. They have refuted, repudiated, rejected for one whole year.

It is literally not worth the paper it is written on.

We had a skip in place because we instructed our builder to strip and relay the drive, until we uncovered the bloody inspection pit. Now, obviously, since we've waited 6 weeks for fourth inspection visit the skip has had flytipping so now we have a police crime incident report number. I am seriously stressed out, it is effecting my mental health.

Can't do Daily Mail sad face ������������������

CaveMum Sat 20-Jun-15 21:33:47

You have to make a nuisance of yourself from our experience. We've been lucky that NHBC have agreed our claim about loose roofing mortar but some of our neighbours have had to fight and fight to get theirs accepted. One literally made such a fuss, bombarding them and the builder with letters/emails/legal threats that they gave in.

MyHouseIsFallingDown Sat 20-Jun-15 21:38:20

Dogscats, that is exactly what they told us, you don't have enough damage yet. WTF ???????

I said it isn't fit for purpose to be told, "forget fit for purpose".

I am going down the Ombudsman route and building/contents legal expenses route. How can they be paid to insure for mistake, admit there is a mistake, but still refuse a claim. It is not right, they don't deserve to have a buildmark status, as they don't actually guarantee anything.

Will consider going down media viral route. It is not worth the paper it is written on.

TTWK Sat 20-Jun-15 21:44:21

So, like any insurance company they'll refute most claims.

What's your evidence for this? I've made claims on travel insurance, household and motor insurance. Every one has been dealt with. To say most claims are refuted would mean over 50% of all claims. Link to evidence would be great.

OP, claim thru your own buildings insurance, and let them try and recover what they pay you from NHBC.

Paddingtonsmarmaladesandwiches Sat 20-Jun-15 21:54:56

Agree. Use your own legal expenses insurance and sue the builders. I made a claim on my NHBC certificate and the remedial works failed too. It's a dangerous fallacy that it is anything other than a club for the builders. Anyway legal action was successful before a full hearing. We obtained financial compensation in the amount equivalent to repairs by another builder. We chose our builder on the strength of his insurance!

NotJustaPotforSoup Sat 20-Jun-15 22:12:23

Were they building control too?

They look out for themselves , not the contractor and not the home owner. I come across them at construction stage and am not impressed. They do think they are marvellous, though, against all evidence.

Get your own insurers involved, if you can. If you've legal cover, use it.

MyHouseIsFallingDown Sat 20-Jun-15 22:39:01

They weren't building control, used the LA. The LA agreed with us. That NHBC had failed.

One of my next questions is how many claims get approved? I am guessing not the majority.

dogscatsandbabies Sat 20-Jun-15 22:40:51

TTWK- re read my post. That's how someone explained it to me. I never said I agreed with that sentiment.

I think NHBC cert is grossly mis sold to the house buyer- it certainly hasn't been any kind of reassurance for us.

MyHouseIsFallingDown Sat 20-Jun-15 22:56:37

Dogscats, I got exactly the same response. They don't cover this, or that, or the other. We bought believing it gauranteed us against construction flaws. Actually it doesn't. It is completely mis sold.

NotJustaPotforSoup Sun 21-Jun-15 06:20:40

Have the LA explained why they issued a completion certificate? I guess they have reasons why it's not their responsibility too. Did you buy from the developer? If so, are they still going?

I think you need legal advice from someone experienced in these claims. Fingers crossed that your insurance will cover the cost. Btw, depending on your policy, you can sometimes use a solicitor that you've found and your legal expenses will cover costs. Get that agreement in writing, though grin.

FruChristerOla Sun 21-Jun-15 06:39:56

Do you have a subscription to Which magazine? They have a team of legal eagles who might be able to help.

MyHouseIsFallingDown Sun 21-Jun-15 18:30:35

Ooh, that is good advice. We bought straight from the developer with the floor and drive already fitted by them. The company has since gone into liquidation. The surveyor and architect think the drive is definately faulty, and the floor not fitted properly.

We don't subscribe to Which, but maybe a national paper that has those help conusmer rights sections might be worth considering?

I will ask the LA about issueing the completion certificate, someone signed off this faulty work. Anything else I could do?

Littlecaf Sun 21-Jun-15 18:46:05

Unfortunately my anecdotal experience of NHBC is similar - I've had to deal with the claims surveyor employed by the NHBC and the claimant on a couple of occasions. The claimant has not once been positive about their experience. Best of luck.

NotJustaPotforSoup Sun 21-Jun-15 19:48:27

Shame about the developer going bust, but unfortunately that's not uncommon.

I don't know what else to say, because this is a matter of working out liability and going from there. I've no way of knowing who that might be, but would be interested if you find out! Solicitor job. The Legal 500 website has specialists by region, as does Chambers. Probably start with construction lawyers?

I do know that building control are most interested in checking stuff to do with safety (they have a particular term they use that escapes me now) such as gas, electricity and the risk of the whole lot falling down. They probably have some clause somewhere that precludes them from being liable.

Will you update? Always interested in how threads like this end up and it might bebe useful for others.

MyHouseIsFallingDown Sun 21-Jun-15 23:11:49

Thank you Soup. I didn't know building control were most interested in safety. Our house is not safe. Good advice, than
k you

I've escalated again and asked for a different claim manager as the one asigned had already manged her opinions (reputiation)

MyHouseIsFallingDown Mon 22-Jun-15 10:19:03

Sorry, that should say repudiate. I will update and let you know the outcome, so if someone has similar issues it might help them.

Due to the delays to start the work my unused skip is now a third full and Ive yet to put anything in it. Its attracted fllytipping, so now has its own Metropolitan Police crime reference number as it is now a victim of "theft of space and services".

NHBC, the gift that keeps on giving.

wonkylegs Mon 22-Jun-15 16:26:08

Looks like you aren't the only one [[

wonkylegs Mon 22-Jun-15 16:27:45

Sorry and since then there has been pressure to erode standards as house builders say over-regulation is the reason they aren't building more houses

MyHouseIsFallingDown Mon 22-Jun-15 18:25:33

Crikey wonky, that is depressing news. I am interested by the Property Misdescriptions Act, I will look into that.

The email to-ing and froing is really time consuming. It's quite a folder now hmm . Regretably, I think it is extremely unlikely this isn't going to the Ombudsman.

I do wonder if the NHBC have targets for how many claims they approve or decline? Or what proportion of repudiated claims are overturned ? Surely not?

I will ask that question when the time comes.

Apologies for lack of apostrophes in previous posts, this whole business is utterly infuriating and stressful, so I am typing carelessly, at speed.

Thank you all for your comments, it is really helpful.

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