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New Build Nightmare?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Local news has recently reported on  Corby developments at Priors Hall where dream homes have turned out to be anything but.

It is reported that there are:

…cracks and leaks causing further damage, unsafe work, shoddily-fitted bathrooms and kitchens and poorly decorated rooms.

The news report goes on to show a catalogue of issues and (alleged) sub-standard work at a development in Priors Hall Corby which you can see here: LINK

Buying a newbuild house is in many ways similar to any other purchase: there is an expectation that whatever it is you are buying, it is of the correct/specified quality; and that there is a contract between the parties to deliver (and pay for) the goods and services. So what are the options when a house or other property fails to live up to expectations?

Usually, minor issues will be sorted as part of the ‘snagging’ and problems are generally remedied by the builder/developer. But what about more substantial issues?

There are 2 main routes. The first is to litigate against the developer:

Many home-owners are unsure how to deal with the issues surrounding incompetent builders or developers. When can a home-owner tell the builder that enough is enough and demand that the work is completed within a certain time? When can a new builder be employed and the extra costs claimed from the original one?

We can help you address the concerns you have with your builder to make sure things stay on track.

The second route is a claim for possible Professional Negligence:

Professional Negligence is exactly what is says: negligence from a qualified professional that you have paid to deliver a professional service. We all need to rely on professional advice from time to time but sometimes even professionals can make mistakes: that’s when a specialist professional negligence solicitor is invaluable. For many people the prospect of suing a professional such as a surveyor is daunting but if you’ve been let-down there is always the option to sue a lawyer or solicitor, accountant, or surveyor.

Is it worth it?

Well, yes and no. It’s frustrating and upsetting that a house or home hasn’t turned out to be what you hoped for and expected, and you have an absolute right to expect to ‘get what you paid for’. The best course of action is to try and sort things out with the builder/developer but what if that’s going nowhere?

For newbuild, there’s the NHBC scheme and other providers which offers some protection – see their websites for details.

If none of this is working, then you may want to consider litigation. However, litigation is costly, especially if you are unsuccessful.

For minor ‘snagging’ issues it’s simply not worth it but if all those issues start to add up to a claim estimated to be £50,000 or more you may get help on a no-win, no-fee basis. That’s not to say you won’t get no-win, no-fee for smaller claims but it’s unlikely.

However, if your claim is successful, it is normal for costs to be awarded (depending on the value of the claim) so it is important to weigh up the chances of success and be clear on how the claim is to be funded initially.


You may feel “stuck between a rock and a hard place”…nowhere to turn. The house or home isn’t what it should be but you may simply be throwing good money after bad.

The first step is to give us a call and we’ll tell you if it’s worth pursuing, and what your options are. An initial call costs nothing and it might just be the first step in turning a nightmare home into a dream home.