Dad tells of newbuild nightmare: ‘My garage is a show home office’

A family says they have been waiting almost five years for a housebuilder to hand over their garage and landscape their front garden.

Oliver Sims, his wife, and their three young children were supposed to move into their new home in July 2018.

However, on moving day, they were told the property in Kingswood, Hull, was not ready because their garage was housing a sales centre.

Desperate to move in and not let the sale fall through, Oliver agreed to sign a document allowing the builder, Strata, to use his garage, but he insists he was told it would be for “a year—a year and a half tops”.

Four years and nine months later, the garage still has not been converted to its original purpose, reports Hull Live.

Strata said that a legal document signed by Mr Sims allowed the company to use the garage and driveway until December 2025.

However, Oliver claimed that his driveway became a temporary car park for Strata’s customers, and he would sometimes have to park up to a 10-minute walk away from his home, which was a struggle for his wife, who has health issues.

He said his neighbour, with whom he shares the garage building, signed the same document.

“My home has been a building site since we moved in,” Oliver said.

“When we signed the document, we were avoiding being made homeless, as our other house had already been sold and emptied.

“We had no idea how long this would drag on for and we feel like an afterthought in this whole process.

“Our front garden is just a pile of mud, we had nowhere to park our cars and we still don’t have a functioning garage.

“There is no end in sight because the brickwork of the garage is severely damaged and it won’t be a small job to complete the original plans.”

On a regular Saturday, around 10 cars would park in front of the family’s house, he said.

He claimed one even crashed into their fence.

“On Halloween, our driveway turned into Kingswood car park because around 20 cars were dumped in front of our property, blocking us in,” Oliver said.

Work began on March 13 to dispose of the temporary car park and return the property to how it was planned.

Oliver said the work was meant to include fencing, paving a pathway and landscaping the front garden. He was told that this would take three weeks.

However, over five weeks later, the work is yet to be completed.

Oliver said: “I find it absolutely disgusting that we’ve had no correspondence or meeting to discuss a real timeline of what’s going on.”

He added: “At no point has there been any recognition of the inconvenience we have experienced.

“There has been no compensation, financial or otherwise and our patience and goodwill have been completely exhausted.”

Hull Live put the allegations to the housebuilder Strata, which said it had a legal agreement between the plot owners and the company.

The signed agreement allowed Strata the exclusive right to use the garage and driveway at the property as the company’s sales centre and entrance, until December 31 2025 (or such earlier date as the company may decide).

The agreement also stated that the garage would be returned to how it was planned at the company expense.

Strata added: “With regards to the remaining works to be carried out in preparation for handover, the customers have received communication from Strata advising that the works would begin on the 13th March 2023 and would last approximately three weeks.

“Unfortunately due to adverse weather conditions throughout March and April, the works have been slightly delayed and are currently a high priority for the Hull site team to complete as soon as possible.”

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