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Mother-of-two, 54, says her £350,000 new-build home has 245 faults

A mother-of-two has condemned developers after her dream property turned into a nightmare with hundreds of ‘snagging’ issues in the £350,000 new-build home.

Mother-of-two Carol Ritson, 54, had been excited to receive the keys to the four-bedroom detached property built by Persimmon in Keynsham, Somerset.

But she was left devastated when she moved into the property in June to find it far from finished, with a team of tradesmen still working on the interior.

Carol Ritson and her partner Chris Bickers outside their new home in Keynsham, Somerset

She commissioned a surveyor who identified 245 ‘defects’ and found the house was ‘heavily infected’ with radon, a radioactive gas which can cause lung cancer.

To add insult to injury Ms Ritson was offered just £250 in John Lewis vouchers as compensation when she complained about the home.

Ms Ritson said: ‘When we walked in they were still painting the walls and doing the skirting boards. There was a team of cleaners in there.’

The mother, who lives with her partner Chris Bickers, their son, 25 and daughter, 19, said the family had to wait several hours before the team left and they could move in.

Her anger grew when the snagging report identified 245 ‘defects’. She said: ‘Persimmon have laid down membranes to mitigate the radon. 

‘But they should have told us about it from the get-go. If I’d had the choice, I wouldn’t have bought it for that reason alone.’

The home was far from finished when Ms Ritson moved in, with tradesmen still working on it

The home was far from finished when Ms Ritson moved in, with tradesmen still working on it

Faults in the house allegedly included walls and render being out of plumb, insufficient insulation and doors not being fitted properly.

The weep vents in the brickwork, for preventing damp and mildew, were described as ‘fake’ by the surveyor.

Ms Ritson, who works as a disability analyst, said: ‘I don’t expect to move into a home that has got this many faults. If it was a car I would take it back.

** Have you had a problem with a new-build home? Please email: mark.duell@mailonline.co.uk or call 020 3615 1838 ** 

‘Persimmon have offered me £250 in John Lewis vouchers as compensation. It’s an insult – I spent £350,000 on this house. 

‘We were in a nice private estate in Warmley before, and now we’re here. The Persimmon site manager rings me every day and says ‘I am so, so sorry’..’

Ms Ritson has been struggling with the stress of the situation since moving in to the property – and is now thinking about selling up.

‘Every day we have had to give workmen a key to come through our house so they can fix the snags,’ she added.

‘I took time off work to let them in the house at one point, and they didn’t turn up. They don’t communicate properly.

Ms Ritson was offered just £250 in John Lewis vouchers as compensation for the problems

Ms Ritson was offered just £250 in John Lewis vouchers as compensation for the problems

‘They say it’s going to take another six weeks to finish dealing with all the defects.’

A Persimmon spokesman said the developer is in ‘regular communication’ with Ms Ritson.

He added: ‘The majority of the snags identified have been resolved and we are liaising further with the customer to complete the remaining works in a timely manner. 

How radon gas causes 1,000 deaths from lung cancer in Britain a year 

Radon gas is created when natural radioactive uranium slowly decays in the ground under homes and seeps to the surface.

Because of the way homes are heated and ventilated, some radon gets indoors through the floor, which is where people get most exposure.

Levels of radon are usually very low, but may be higher in parts of the country rich in granite such as Dartmoor in Devon and Cornwall.

People who breathe in high levels of radon over long periods of time can find it causes damage to their lungs’ sensitive cells which raises the risk of lung cancer.

Radon causes about 1,000 lung cancer deaths in Britain every year.

Solutions to reducing high radon levels include replacing or adding ventilation bricks in outside walls or installing a small pump in the loft that gently blows in air.

‘Radon is a naturally occurring gas and is commonly found in certain areas of the country.

‘Normal building measures were implemented at this site to mitigate against radon, including a radon-proof barrier across the ground floor and ventilation.’

However, another young family, who asked to remain anonymous, told MailOnline they have also faced problems with their home they are renting on the same estate.

They said: ‘How can you call a house a home when it looks half built? If we owned we’d been gone as well. But, for what we pay a month, it’s a reason to stay.

‘If you look at the garden, it’s all just odd. There’s random paving stones, there’s bits where they’ve made the walls and just slapped concrete on the floor.

‘Things are cracking, like the wood and the skirting boards – paint is peeling too. The driveway is sinking, no word of a lie. The underside of the car is scraping on it. I don’t think it was measured out properly.’

The couple, whose young baby slept while builders worked on the development nearby today, said they had tried to highlight the problems.

‘We’ve raised it with Persimmon, but we raise it with the builders mostly – you don’t see Persimmon around,’ they said.

‘A big issue for everyone is the promised internet – actually, that’s probably the biggest issue on this estate.

An example of a poorly aligned door frame at the new-build home of Ms Ritson in Keynsham

An example of a poorly aligned door frame at the new-build home of Ms Ritson in Keynsham

‘When we moved in at the end of January we were told internet would be a month, month and a half tops.

‘You can’t get another supply – NowTV, Sky, Virgin Media – it has to be FibreNest for the entire first year.

‘They’ve had to dig up this part, that part, install cladding somewhere. It’s just been delayed and delayed. I think we’re paying £140 a month on 4G on our phones.

‘They gave us this little dongle which has 60GB a month on it. That’s not enough to run a whole family on.’

Another couple, who also asked not to be named, told MailOnline they have experienced similar problems with the Persimmon internet.

They too rent through a housing association, moving in just under a month ago with their two children.

Ms Ritson commissioned a surveyor who identified 245 'defects' in a snagging report

Ms Ritson commissioned a surveyor who identified 245 ‘defects’ in a snagging report

They said: ‘We haven’t got any wifi. Apparently they put the cable in the wrong way round. We called up and apparently there’s no lines to any of these properties.

‘Then they told of us the other day it’s all wired up wrong – it’s going to be two to three weeks. They couldn’t give us the exact date it will be sorted. 

‘There’s no signal in here so we can’t use 4G – we’re in the sticks.’  The pair added that they were happy with the interior but said the garden needed some work.

‘All of the grass – it’s all dying. It’s only been laid down a week,’ they said. ‘It was all bare when we moved in.

‘They assured us it wasn’t going to look bad but they had to dig it all back up out the front. The brickwork isn’t finished in the garden, the fence isn’t finished.

‘We have a dog – what if next door had a dog? I raised the problems to the site manager who said he’d sort it out but I haven’t heard anything since. It’s not that we’re not happy, but we haven’t bought. The most annoying thing is the internet.’

** Have you had a problem with a new-build home? Please email: mark.duell@mailonline.co.uk or call 020 3615 1838 ** 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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