19 Jan Is it common practice cash to complete on unfinished homes?
The country’s biggest housebuilders have distanced themselves from Bovis Homes over claims that it is “industry practice” to pay customers cash to complete on unfinished homes by a certain date.
The Times revealed yesterday that Bovis Homes had offered its customers as much as £3,000 to complete on properties before December 23, despite acknowledging that more work still needed to be done on the homes.
Analysts said that the cash incentives from Bovis were part of an failed attempt by the FTSE 250 company to meet City targets.
The offers were made days before Bovis Homes issued a profit warning, informing shareholders that it would miss its target of completing 4,130 homes by the end of the financial year.
On Monday, David Ritchie, chief executive, stepped down with immediate effect. The Times’ account of customers moving into Bovis properties to find unfinished work, including windows still needing to be installed, gardens or porches not laid, wrongly fitted kitchen units and workmen still in the house has also led a Conservative MP to call for a debate into the standard of newly built homes.
Oliver Colvile, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on the built environment, said: “We will try to have a debate in the House of Commons about the quality of new-build housing. We need to press the government to do more.” In May last year, Mr Colvile and a group of MPs issued a report arguing that buyers should have the right to carry out a full survey before they complete their purchase. Many Bovis customers have complained they were not allowed to enter their homes until the day of completion.
In a statement, Bovis suggested offering cash to customers to complete by a certain date was “in line with industry practice”, but the three biggest housebuilders, Barratt, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, said that they never make this offer
Source: The Times – click here for article