East Sussex homeowner warns of 'horrendous' experience buying new build

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The owner of a new build home has described the experience as 'horrendous' and ‘stressful’ and is urging others to be aware of the hassle he says he's experienced.

Doug Lewin moved into his half a million pound house in Hailsham, East Sussex in December 2019.

It was sold to him by Bovis Homes and he says he's experienced problems right from the start.

"The cleaner was on her way out when we first came in, some of the paintwork was tacky and wet. Clearly they had been completing the end of their decoration on that day.”

Doug he says that he expected there might be a few issues - he's not naive to the fact there would be snags but the whole process has turned into a very stressful ordeal. 

Customer services teams have been in contact with Mr Lewin throughout the purchase of the property, but he says he's having to chase the company to get issues sorted.

Doug Lewin describes the front and back of his property as a 'quagmire' Credit:

Within the first month Doug had to raise issues which include his garden resembling what he describes a ‘quagmire’, a hole in his loft and a wood burner being installed on a wall that wasn’t fire resistant.

"Had we been aware of the condition of the house on the day we moved in I would not have moved in.” says Doug.

In the 16 months since, there has been several issues including uneven flooring, damaged carpets, ceilings have needed re-plastering and part of the porch has been replaced.

The wall behind the wood burner cracked in March 2021. Credit:

The issue with installing the wood burner is still ongoing and there’s also been a disagreement over the border of the property.

Doug believes it’s not as wide as plans for the home suggested and while he says a ‘way forward’ has now been found in terms of the surface of the area outside his home, he says he still has unanswered questions over the width of the land.

Doug Lewin says he would never buy a new build home again Credit: Doug Lewin says he would never buy a new build home again

We asked him to sum up the whole experience,

“Horrendous would sum it up, stressful, it's not what I wanted it's not what I expected. I just want Bovis out of my hair. I want them [Bovis] to finish off what they've got to do and go.

"I just want anybody who is buying a new house to understand it's not all fine and dandy it can be horrendous. 

"I would never buy a Bovis home, I would never buy a new home. When it's finished I think it'll be fantastic but I would never buy a new build home, this has put me right off.”

ITV Meridian has seen emails between Bovis Homes and Mr Lewin over the issues Credit:

In emails seen by ITV Meridian, in March 2020 Bovis told Doug:

"On occasion we have fallen short of the standards that we seek to provide"

While last December another email read: "you have had more issues than might reasonably have been expected."

  • Bovis response:

In response to the concerns raised by Doug Lewin ITV News Meridian, Bovis Homes told us,

"Our site team has been working closely with Mr Lewin to resolve his outstanding warranty items and we apologise for the delay in sorting out these final issues.

"While the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the timetable to complete the work inside his property, we are committed to delivering the quality home and service that has seen us receive a five-star rating from our customers for the last two years from the industry's annual independent survey."

For the hassle he's experienced with his half a million pound home, Bovis has offered £500 compensation.

While the majority of the problems have been resolved, the remaining issues mean in Doug's eyes, the property is not yet perfect.