How Did This all Start?
We bought our new build home over a year ago, it was meant to be a new start for us, a way to get over the last 12 years, 12 long years helping our son fight for a better life, after being born with severe congenital problems. We hoped It would be a way to leave the past troubles behind us and make a clean start, giving us more time to spend with our children, how wrong we where.
Enter Morris Homes
The house we purchased in good faith from Morris Homes, a choice we thought was made on a reputable developer, the reality of the situation today is that I have never seen or known a company to treat it's customers in such a bad way. The crazy thing here is, the deeper you dig, the more you realise it's not just one developer, its a systemic failure at all levels of the housing sector. From leasehold to management fees, hundreds of snags to deep structural issues, documentation inaccuracies to cover-ups and monopolisation of peoples time, the whole system is very broken, people are suffering!
So to sum up the last year, well that's hard, emotionally its been difficult, like mental torture, fighting for a working drainage system that's not compromised and is installed in line with regulations and how service providers dictate. Its been hard on my kids, and my lovely wife, I will not lie at times I have cried! How is my situation today? Well I have nearly a hundred issues still not fixed, have people trespassing without regard and causing damage, a chimney that looks like it wants to fall off, drainage that needs regular cleaning (i've had to do this myself a lot), a house that has no building regulations certificate, cracks you can loose change down, rooms so cold they are a danger to my sons chronic chest problems (thoracic insufficiency) and an estimated £30k legal bill if I choose to fight them as they refuse to fix anything.
I have been told that I told them I don't want things fixing, this never happened. My house is worthless, I cannot sell it, cannot get them to fix it, why on earth would I say that. The ironic thing here is my contract of sale states I should have building regulations sign off, my mortgage provider requires building regulations sign off in order to release funds, so how after a year am I still living in a house, with a mortgage, when the house does not have building regulations sign off or a certificate and cannot get one, all against my mortgage lenders terms?
That said, our situation is dire, I have lost my savings fighting this, to this day Morris Homes have never issued me with any formal statement of work on how the situation would be tackled and put right, just talk, lapses of time, here's a drawing and more talk, then silence, then refusal, all because I ask questions, dig more and find more issues, like missing grey water drains, further complications from outside my property line, for instance.
Sharing and Helping Others
I have been on twitter now for a while, others are suffering too. I have heard a story of one old lady taking her life, how as a society, have we got to the point where an old lady takes her life, due to a developer mentally torturing her I have no idea, it makes me sad to be a human being. Where has society gone so wrong when Leaseholders have to pay to live in their own homes, without actually owning them. Where have we gone so wrong that people have to pay management fees because it helps developers get planning permission easier, cheaper or faster, then hike the fees every year when in reality the local councils should be doing it but developers did this to earn more profit.
I have found a group of people online, a group that is also suffering, we talk, we voice, and we try to fight these people and offer support, so that others do not have to go through the same as we have. This funding is to help me finish what Morris Homes started and walked away from and help others too if I can through information, support, a voice and also if possible, financial support for legal disputes which are no fault of their own. Should I be able to resolve my situation in some way, I would be happy to continue the fight using the extra funding, maybe create an association or charity in the hope we can break this self regulated sector and make a difference.
The problem with the new build sector and housing in general is one of greed, nothing more. Developers make eye watering bonuses, on the back of government funded schemes (tax payers money), then fail to provide an adequate home or service, while people suffer in silence. This is pushing up prices and making it harder to get on to the housing market. Then god forbid they choose to complain, they are rail-roaded with solicitors and scared with legal action. If your lucky enough to get an OK build, your time is monopolised day in day out to the point your life falls apart, fixing snag after snag spending more time with handy men than your own kids. All we do is give them our hard earned money and trust, in return customers are mentally tortured with litigation, bullied with solicitors that make inaccurate claims (without prejudice of course) and laugh at our laudable nature when we suggest that we want to help others, or you get a legal bill from the people you trusted. This is happening all over the UK, Why? Because they are being left to self regulate their own hunger and greed through schemes that they influence. The New build situation in the UK is severely broken.
So, I have a worthless house, I have had to clean my own drains, my house is falling apart, cracking, fracturing with nearly a hundred issues left to fix a year on and it violates the regulations put in place to protect home owners laid down by authorities. My house is a danger to one of my children over the winter periods due to his health issues and we live in a health and safety hazard as neighbours faeces are dragged across my path every week, the smell makes you want to vomit! I have uncovered systemic failure in the system at all levels that's lead to this point and all those responsible have or are turning their back on us. If they walk away from this they will walk away from anything they choose. Why do they get away with it? Because they have more money than i do, that's it.
If you choose to help, of course it would be most appreciated. I believe I have several options...
1) Fight Morris Homes to fix the issue (proving fruitless, no means no it seems).
2) Expose how I even ended up in this situation to begin with (that's interesting).
3) Pay for professionals to fix the issue myself (properly, then turn my attention on the naughty people).
I am happy either way, I just want a toilet I can flush without fear of my deposits coming back to haunt me, or to walk into my house on a Monday without it smelling like a sewage plant (well at least until they stop cleaning them). Its a big job, requiring several rooms to be excavated to resolve standing pipes and violating drains getting the house signed off too. We need to be kicked out during this time as well, it would take some time. Once I have resolved my situation I intend to make sure I help as many people as I can. I don't want to be rich, I never have, I want to satisfy my desire to help people using my somewhat weird ability to analyse things and know that when I am no longer on this planet, I contributed in a way that made a difference, tried to balance out an imbalance. I was mocked once and called "Laudable", you know who you are... when I suggested helping others, the worlds a twisted place! I like recording things though, so thats nice!
I am a web application architect, I write applications, big applications, small applications as well as websites, frameworks, API's and do dev-ops. I am happy to give my spare time to help others that could do with someone of my skill set. I am also happy to help others work through situations they may also be in. I am happy to listen to charity requests (having done a lot in the past) and help those I can be it in this regard or connected with new build horrors. If I can remove this obstacle out of my way, It will leave me with the ability to use my time to help others trapped in my situation, maybe write a book, start a charity, create an application to help people snag and expose issues or maybe start a rehabilitation clinic for greedy developers to bring them back inline with society (hmm no maybe not).
If you are unable to help, that's OK too, we do what we can in this world, I am trying to do more for the greater good as I grow older, I think there may be some wisdom in that, what will we leave for our children and I don't mean money! I also want to tell the world. My situation is very bizarre, how something can be so messed up and still happen, so I want to tell my story and expose those involved. I just need to get my drains fixed first so I don't have to abandon my house yet again and let my son have to sleep on someones floor, it causes him pain with his spinal rods (he doesn't like Morris Homes much) :(