Families from across the country have revealed their horror stories to MailOnline after buying newly built homes that have not been finished.
Homeowners, some of them first-time buyers, have told of picking up the keys to find leaks, badly fitted doors, mould and gaps in the guttering.
In some cases, new-build buyers are discovering more than 170 faults in their homes and having to wait months for a builder to fix them.
Some 93 per cent of buyers report problems to their builders, according to a report by the all-party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment.
The report estimates that this means around 15,500 buyers a year – or 298 a week – are ‘dissatisfied’ with their property.
MailOnline was inundated with horror stories from beleaguered homeowners left in despair as they battled countless problems in their new homes.
Here, our readers relive how moving in to their dream home turned into a nightmare.
When Bryan Gates completed on his £1.5million property in Windsor, he believed he was buying a piece of ‘quintessential English country lifestyle’.
For that is how developer Charles Church sold its gated development of 22 homes at Montague Park, Winkfield, to potential buyers.
But according to Mr Gates, nearly all of his neighbours at the development – where prices range from £1million to £1.6million – have found faults.
They range from poor quality doors and windows with gaps, to loose tiles and leaky showers.
Mr Gates told the MailOnline: ‘Montague Park was sold as the quintessential English country lifestyle.
‘A gated development with a nature trail, tennis courts, landscaped and stocked pond in 19 acres of prime Windsor countryside.
‘[But] none of these have been completed, even though they formed part of the planning agreement.
‘The reality is more of a nightmare development with houses ranging from £1 million to £1.6 million and not a single property without faults some in excess of 300.
‘The properties have cracked render, tiles that do not match and some properties with loose tiles that have never been fixed.
‘Others have leaking showers [and] solar systems that have never worked. The list goes on without exaggeration.’
Annabel Hawley bought a home with her husband James after he left the British Army in September.
The couple spent £440,000 on a property in Berkshire, completing with Berkeley Homes in November.
They used their own savings and the Government’s Help To Buy scheme.
Since then, they claim to have suffered more than 40 different issues with their new home.
Ms Hawley told the MailOnline: ‘Buying this house was a huge investment for us so we expected perfection.
‘We completed in October and have had nothing but problems, from gaping holes by the front door, to shoddy workmanship, to most recently, when they forgot to put a man hole cover outside for a main toilet drain.
‘Sadly for Berkeley Homes, the contractors are giving them a bad name.
‘We have a list of about 40 issues that we have had since day one and we are still waiting for various issues to be sorted that were reported back in November.’
Chris Lyon, 29, and his partner Emma Hayward, 27, bought a Barratt Homes new build on the Ridgeway estate in Dunstable, Bedfordshire for £325,000 and expected it to be their ‘dream’ first home.
But the dream soon turned to a nightmare as the property was riddled with a catalogue of problems.
Mr Lyon told MailOnline: ‘On our tour of our home on completion day the house was full of dust, builders tools and mouldy coffee cups.
‘Our front door glass panel was cracked. Our washing machines transit bolts hadn’t been removed and upon using this on our first night we were awoken to the sound of horrendous banging, where the machine had literally danced around the kitchen, smashing the cupboards, kick boards, and plates that were on the sink side.
‘Our garden patio was stained with builders’ paint and plaster. Our electric shower hadn’t been sealed in where the electric power cables connect to it and the Virgin Media cables were hanging out of the front of the house as the builders had smashed the box off the wall.
‘The ducting that comes off the bathroom extractor fan is damaged and therefore just leaking moisture into our loft space.’
The couple were awoken to their washing machine ‘dancing around the kitchen’ on the first night in their new home – smashing cupboards, kick boards, and plates
The couple were faced with dozens of other issues including an uncapped pipe in the loft which left the house smelling of faeces, a window ledge cracked in half, and paint all over the fittings and radiators.
Mr Lyon added: ‘We had Barratts staff using our toilets when they came to rectify snags, leaving lights on, spilling paint on the new carpets, plaster on the sofa and carpets, and actually breaking our sofa.
‘The tiles in the house were not the tiles we originally chose when we purchased the property and the tiling in the en suite bathroom was horrendous.
‘I am a believer in getting people’s stories heard so people in the future do not have to go through this sheer hell.’
A spokesperson at Barratt Homes said: ‘We are aware of the issues raised, our MD Ian Sadler has already met with the customers, and we currently have workmen in the property resolving any outstanding issues’.
Rachel Cook and Will Johnson
Rachel Cook and her partner Will Johnson were ‘full of excitement’ when they bought their first home together in Pontefract, West Yorkshire in June.
The couple, aged 23 and 24 respectively, paid £330,000 for the property from construction firm David Wilson.
But their enthusiasm was short lived, after they reported leaks in every plumbed appliance in the house within the first month.
Since moving in, they have experienced 18 different leaks, including one in their garage which is still ongoing.
Another in the kitchen saw scaffolding remain outside their home for longer than three weeks, leaving their garden as a ‘waterlogged mud bath’.
Ms Cook said: ‘We honestly feel that we do not want to live in this house any longer.
‘Whenever we run a tap, flush a toilet or turn on a shower on we are expecting water to come through the ceiling somewhere.’
Rachel Cook and her partner Will Johnson were ‘full of excitement’ when they bought their first home together in Pontefract – but they were faced with a litany of problems
In a letter of complaint to David Wilson, Ms Cook said: ‘We moved into our new house full of excitement, as you can imagine, as this was our first home together.
‘We were willing to overlook the stained lounge ceiling where there had been a water leak which was ‘fixed’ and patched up, and the mould growing on the lounge skirting and architrave as we were so looking forward to our new home.
‘Over the next few weeks and months we had a catalogue of faults and problems.’
A spokesperson at Barratt Homes said: ‘We are the only major national housebuilder to be rated as 5 star with a customer recommendation score of over 90%.
‘Occasionally things do go wrong, and when that happens we work really hard to put them right. We have been in regular correspondence with Mrs Cook and all works had been completed until we were made aware of a leak this morning. We have requested that a contractor visits the property as soon as possible and apologise for the further inconvenience.’
Charlotte Dadley, 28, moved into a newly built maisonette in August 2013, built by Luxe Ltd.
She purchased the property in Rainham, Essex, for £151,500 when she was 25.
Ms Dadley told MailOnline: ‘I couldn’t even get to the fridge/freezer when I moved in to turn it on and the taps were on back to front.
‘The day my neighbour below moved in was a complete nightmare. The noise that came from downstairs was unbelievable.
‘My neighbour upstairs then moved in and this was just as bad. The noise is so bad that if I flush my toilet during the night, it will wake my neighbour up in her bedroom.’
Charlotte Dadley, 28, moved into a newly built maisonette in August 2013, built by Luxe Ltd
‘I cannot have any people stay in my flat as the upstairs living room television is above the bedroom and although he doesn’t have it loud, you can clearly listen to his TV all night.
‘I have just had to replace an entire bathroom due to mould. I now have mould growing around my windows in my living room. As far as I am aware I should not be getting mould in a new home.
‘Over the last few years we have all had to live with each other and were lucky enough that we all get on – God forbid if I had a nightmare neighbour up or downstairs.
‘I feel others need to be warned before buying from them.’