Persimmon Homes: Scottish couple's one-year battle with developer

First-time buyer couple are STILL battling to get Persimmon to fix a DOZEN problems with their £200,000 new-build home a year after moving in

  • Sam Rae and Natalie Jenner found dozens of problems in their new-build home
  • It had so much mold around the window part of the wall needs to be rebuilt
  • And holes were left in the walls of every room – some the size of golf balls
  • The couple said they have experienced nothing but issues and ‘stress’ since buying the home and were originally meant to move into their home in 2019
  • Today, they are still experiencing issues with their new home – two years on 
  • The developer Persimmon Homes builds 1 in 7 houses for the Help to Buy scheme and on average makes a 30 percent return for every house it sells 
  • Persimmon Homes said they were aware of the customer’s complaint 

A Scottish couple are still trying to fix the ‘mess’ their £200,000 new-build home was left in by house builders since moving in over a year ago.

Sam Rae and Natalie Jenner were horrified after visiting their newly built Persimmon Home in Livingston, West Lothian in March last year to find dozens of snags.

The first-time buyers claim the ‘finished’ property has had so much mold around one window that they now need to get part of an external wall rebuilt.

The couple also claim there were holes left in the walls of every room – with some being the size of golf balls.


Sam Rae and Natalie Jenner (pictured together left) were horrified after visiting their newly built Persimmon Home (right) in Livingston, West Lothian in March last year to find dozens of snags. The first-time buyers claim the ‘finished’ property has had so much mold around one window that they now need to get part of an external wall rebuilt

Sam, 29, said that when they inspected their brand new home, radiators were hanging off the walls, and their newly installed shower was still needing finished and had ‘razor sharp’ edges.

The couple said they have experienced nothing but issues and ‘stress’ since buying the home and were originally meant to move into their home in September 2019.

The move-in date was initially delayed to December 2019 and due to repairs having to be carried out they were only given their keys in March last year.

Since then Sam and 25-year-old Natalie are still experiencing issues with the new-build home.

Speaking on Wednesday, project manager Sam said: ‘It was a mess. There were holes in the walls, cracks in the ceiling/sills.

‘Panels were crudely painted, marks on the walls, shower frame wasn’t finished and had razor sharp edges, brick work in the driveway and back garden was awful.

‘This will be fixed but we can expect a significant portion of the external wall to be removed and reapplied correctly.

‘We noticed issues immediately. Poor craftsmanship was blatantly evident.

‘We’ve had incorrect panels installed that don’t match our chosen kitchen doors, holes in every room ranging, some the size of golf balls.

‘The finishing touches for the painters have been awful, using a blend of satin paint and matte paint to paint the banister.

‘Awful brickwork on the external walls and driveway and they didn’t fit our bathroom sink tiles. 

‘Leaks in the toilet, bathroom, kitchen ceiling, radiators hanging off the walls.’

Sam, 29, said that when they inspected their brand new home, radiators were hanging off the walls, and their newly installed shower was still needing finished and had ‘razor sharp’ edges. Mr Rae posted pictures of builders working on the ‘finished’ house

Reflecting on the experience the 29-year-old added: ‘Buying your first home should be an amazing, exciting moment in your relationship, however ours will forever be remembered as a horrible, stressful experience.

‘We don’t feel like we’ve had the chance to settle and enjoy our home and fully furnish it to our specification as we are constantly finding more issues which delays proceedings.

‘The stress of the house has really impacted our mental health during an already difficult time. 

‘We both agreed that we will never purchase a persimmon home again.’

The couple said they have worked with four separate site managers since purchasing the property.

They claim one member left his job because he was embarrassed with the way the site was being run.


The couple said they have experienced nothing but issues and ‘stress’ since buying the home and were originally meant to move into their home in September 2019

Sam posted images of his home on Facebook – prompting a shocked response from dozens of social media users.

Ian Eardly said: ‘Persimmon have a diabolical name for shoddy workmanship in the trade, in fact their brickwork is absolutely notorious for being rough.’

Mark McVey said: ‘My son and partner has had similar and they’ve been in for five years. Not everything resolved.’

John Allexander added: ‘Mate I worked as a sub contractor on persimmons homes and done the electrical side of things, absolute farce of a company to be involved in.

‘They cut corners, use the cheapest of materials and all properties rushed through to make sure deadlines are met and even over delivered.

‘I wouldn’t work on any of their sites again mate.’

Pictured: Mr. Rae shared his troubles with his home on Facebook – prompting a shocked response from dozens of social media users – with others sharing their experiences with Persimmon Homes

The developer Persimmon Homes builds 1 in 7 houses for the Help to Buy scheme and on average makes a 30 percent return for every house it sells.

Persimmon Homes were investigated by Channel 4 Dispatches in 2019 which sent an independent snagging expert to assess a brand new house and found 295 faults.

Around 70 percent of what was identified on that list was in the inspectors view below the building regulations standard.

Speaking on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: ‘We are aware of the customer’s complaints and are sorry he is unhappy with the service received.

Persimmon Homes has been working hard to resolve issues as they have been raised and we have contacted the customer today to further discuss any outstanding concerns.’ 

This is not the first time the developer has made headlines over unfinished properties, among other controversies.

This is not the first time the developer has made headlines over unfinished properties, among other controversies.   

In February, a father-of-two forced Persimmon to tear down his new home and rebuild it from scratch because of its ‘poor workmanship’.

Andrew Higgs had bought a new-build five-bedroom home in Old St Mellons, Cardiff, in June 2019 but noticed major issues on the day he moved in with his wife and two children, aged two and five.

The 41-year-old endured months of negotiations with Charles Church, an upmarket house building company owned by Persimmon, before his family was moved into temporary accommodation while every single external brick was replaced.

He told Wales Online at the time: ‘There was a long list of snags from day one and each week we would notice additional issues of poor workmanship.’

While some of the issues were reworked ‘multiple times’, Mr Higgs said it took more than a year of discussions before Charles Church agreed to knock the walls down and rebuild them. 

Last year, the MailOnline reported that a couple had found more than 200 flaws with their new family home, leaving them angrily demanding: ‘Were the builders drunk when they built it?’ in a phone call to Persimmon Homes.

Rebecca Chrystal, 39, was reduced to tears when she and David Mount, 40, found crooked walls, uneven floors and cracks in the ceiling inside their Norfolk property.  

In February, a father-of-two forced Persimmon to tear down his new home and rebuild it from scratch because of its ‘poor workmanship’. Pictured: Examples of Persimmon-built homes

Since moving in 2018 the problems kept piling up and within two years they had filled three double-sided A4 pieces of paper with a list of all the faults.

Personal assistant Ms Chrystal said at the time the constant struggle to fix their home had been emotionally draining and taken a toll on their mental health.

But in a phone call with developers Persimmon she could not contain her outrage and recalls now: ‘I said “were the builders drunk when they built it?”‘  

The Channel 4 TV investigation found homeowners were given just 24 hours to identify faults in new properties – a period since increased to one week.

The 2019 programme also commissioned an inspection of a new Persimmon home. It found 295 ‘snags’ with 70 per cent so serious they fell outside building regulation ‘tolerance’ limits – including a fire door that did not close and unsealed showers. 

The Daily Mail has also highlighted poor workmanship at the developer.

Persimmon was forced to apologise after the investigation.

The firm also provoked a storm of criticism in 2018 when its former boss took home a £75million bonus, reportedly made an average £66,000 on every home it sells, when reported on in 2019.

The firm’s then-boss Jeff Fairburn left the company after the scandal. He was due to receive £100 million between his pay and bonus. He tried to defend the size of his package during a television interview, but was heavily criticised instead.   

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