Father tells of family’s new home dream that became a ‘nightmare’

Ashley Mills with his daughter Lydia and her friend Millie. Picture: Steve Robards
Ashley Mills with his daughter Lydia and her friend Millie. Picture: Steve Robards

The excitement of buying a brand new home turned into two years battling damp and other problems, says a Haywards Heath father.

Ashley Mills, 46, of Western Road bought a four-bed new-build property in 2015 and says he was beset by issues from day one.

Father Ashley Mills. Picture: Steve Robards

Father Ashley Mills. Picture: Steve Robards

He told the Middy: “It has been a nightmare.

“The major issue has been rising damp. I would like the Sussex folk to be protected from making the same mistake as me.

“Essentially we are nearly two years down the road from buying the property with a whole load of issues – some of which have been addressed, many have not.

“We had a huge amount of rising damp that we were told repeatedly was the drying out of the plaster, but it turned out to be where the developer had not damp-proofed the walls causing the water that comes down the driveway to be capillaried into the house causing damp spores that are dangerous for one’s health.

“Both bathrooms have leaked through to the ceilings below, and in one case into the adjoining bedroom. Three radiators have leaked as well.

“The kitchen units were also out of line and have been adjusted twice. One unit and some of the kickboards have been replaced through water damage.”

Mr Mills, a self-employed sales manager, lives with his wife and two children, aged 16 and 14.

He said the developer, West Construction Ltd from East Grinstead, had paid visits along with the National House Building Council (NHBC).

Repairs have been made but Mr’ Mills says he is not reassured this has resolved the problem.

He said: “The damp issue has been repaired by West Construction Ltd and we have had a report from a damp specialist that shows it is not damp penetrating the water course on the retaining wall.

“But as things stand, there is no way of knowing whether we will experience further damp issues this coming winter as proper investigation of causation has not occured.

“We live in fear of the damp issue reappearing as the weather worsens.”

Mr Mills said he still hopes the property will be the new home he and his wife were ‘excited’ about.

He added: “It is a lovely place and we were very excited. However, we didn’t expect to have all these problems.”

West Construction Ltd was approached by the Middy for a comment.

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