Couple’s dream home ‘hell’ after garage floods, mortgage rate increase and 22-month delay

A couple’s move to their dream home turned into a nightmare amid hold-ups, floods and snagging faults – and they are now taking legal action.

Graham Currigan signed off to buy the new-build home in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, before enduring an agonising 22-month delay.

The setback meant reapplying for a mortgage twice, with the fixed-rate five-year offer jumping from 1.8% to 2.3%.

And on finally getting the keys with partner Simone to their Tilla Homes property at Tanton Fields they found a series of building errors, reports TeessideLive.

During the first tour around the three-bed home Graham, 31, spotted snagging problems, including a faulty fridge freezer seal and “incorrect appliances” in the kitchen.

But the worst of it was the flooded garage which was under two inches of water, he claims.

Graham said: “The original completion date I was given was 20 months ago, and then through complete inadequacy throughout they have continually put the completion date back.

“The annoying thing for me, and the reason why it has gotten to a point where I’ve had to take a legal approach, is that each time they have done it they have put it back by two or three months.

“I was never in a position where I had a choice to make, I had to just go, ‘oh that’s fine because I’m not going to find anything else in two or three months’ – and sometimes it has been less than that.”

Graham claims the completion date was changed 10 times before he finally got the keys around four weeks ago.

He explained his mortgage had to be changed because the offer had ended due to the extended wait.

“It also cost me about £16k not being here, a large proportion of that is the rent my partner was paying on her property, which obviously we wouldn’t have been paying because we would’ve been paying towards a mortgage,” he added.

When Graham and Simone, 30, alongside her two daughters, aged 11 and five, finally looked prepared to move in, things seemed to go from bad to worse.

Graham, who works for Hawkeye Football, which staffs all the European football games with goalline technology, said: “You would expect after all that length of time that you would move into a property and there wouldn’t be any issues.

“The biggest problem throughout the whole situation has been lack of communication.”

He said he reserved the plot based on “incorrect information” – including the positioning of one of the windows – which only became clear when it was too late.

On the same evening he got the keys he went into the garage to find it flooded due to it being “down the gradient of neighbours’ gardens” and it was “coming through the brickwork”.

He continued: “All the appliances were incorrect, so they said they’d have to swap those out. The work in the garage for electrics hadn’t been finished. The actual finish was shocking.

“You could see the plug sockets were not put onto the walls correctly or little things like that. “

Graham has been in touch back and forth with the housing developer, and has kept a log of all of his interactions and the company’s responses.

He said the production director and acting site manager came to look at the house, claiming they told him that everything would be resolved as soon as possible.

He said: “As time went on I got more and more annoyed. It got to the point where I was writing to the investment company that owns Tilia Homes.

“That was when I finally got a little bit of traction. At that point, they…started to get people to do work.”

Despite setting a deadline of two weeks to fix the snags, it wasn’t until October 21 that Graham moved in.

He said the kitchen was “wobbling”, the fridge freezer door was “scuppered” and a workman had driven through a gas pipe when taking the hood of the cooker off.

“I was working from home because I had to allow people into the property and he drove straight through the gas pipe and I had to get out – that was what set me really over the edge,” said Graham.

The washing machine that was installed wasn’t working and while he was waiting for it to be repaired it released over 14kg of water “all over the entire downstairs”.

The flooring, which cost “an arm and a leg” has had to be pulled up with Graham told the damage will be paid for.

The homeowner has had to be signed off work due to the stress of the situation.

He said: “Every time you are getting to that last stretch before the finish line, they have thrown a hurdle in there.

“As the hurdle has gone on instead of getting smaller they have gotten bigger and are becoming like roadblocks.”

A spokesperson for Tilia Homes said: “We are actively discussing and actioning queries raised by Mr Currigan and sympathise that his buying journey has not been the experience we hope for anybody who buys a Tilia Home.

“While the property has been signed off in accordance with the National House Building Council (NHBC), our production director and myself continue to visit with Mr Currigan to ensure points raised are being taken seriously and dealt with swiftly.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to customer care and service, we have offered and installed upgraded appliances and features in the home as a gesture of goodwill and to show our appreciation of Mr Currigan’s patience and continue to work with him in accordance with our own quality control measures as well as those set by the NHBC.”