Kate is introducing a Westminster Hall debate tomorrow, Thursday 13 December, at 1.30pm to call on the government to urgently introduce better protections for homebuyers.
Kate has called the debate on behalf of local families who moved into their new houses built by Persimmon Homes in Woodsend, Urmston, and were met with a host of dangerous defects.
These problems included a toilet that was flushing boiling water, dripping from the loft, holes in the walls and a front door that couldn’t be closed.
Problems faced by local homeowners have been made worse by the appalling customer service from Persimmon. For months, the company dragged their heels rather than getting on with fixing the problems.
Woodsend resident, Lisa, waited a year and a half before Persimmon even gave her a named customer service contact to fix the defects in her home, and when Kate raised the issue on Lisa’s behalf, Kate was told by Persimmon that they didn’t ‘deal with MPs’.
Lisa said “Persimmon Homes have left me devastated at the shoddy workmanship and incredibly poor quality of my new home. If I could get a refund I would without hesitation. It has been a most traumatic 18 months and still repairs to the properties are on-going. Never again.”
Kate spoke in parliament on behalf of the Woodsend residents in July, and has since been contacted by people all over the country, sharing their stories of defects in their new build homes from different housebuilders including Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Bovis Homes.
Kate has secured a debate in parliament this week to raise these issues with Ministers, and will put pressure on the government to act.
According to the HomeOwners Alliance, although a property is likely to be the most expensive purchase most people ever make, it is one of the least-protected by consumer law.
Property is exempt from the Sale and Supply of Goods Act meaning that unlike other goods, if a property fails to live up to expectations there is no right to reject it is and demand money back, leaving homebuyers stuck with faulty properties.
In the debate, Kate will outline the absurd situation where consumers have “less protection buying a house than when buying a toaster” and will demand reform to the voluntary, industry-led approach to regulating the sector favoured by government.
Kate will call on the government to introduce a series of protections for homebuyers, recommended by the HomeOwners Alliance.
These include a right for homeowners to inspect their new home before moving in, without prejudice, a homebuyers code enforced by an Ombudsman and better up-front information for prospective homebuyers.
Kate said: “It’s utterly outrageous that families who’ve worked hard and saved up to buy their homes are being let down by the big housebuilding companies.
“MPs cannot sit by while so many of our constituents face such great cost, stress and disappointment at a time when they are making such a significant investment.
“The housebuilding industry needs to get its house in order, and the government has a responsibility to make it do so.”
Watch Kate’s Westminster Hall debate, live, on Parliament TV here.