Crookston residents plagued by mould, collapsing ceilings and flooding

By Hannah Rodger

Crookston residents plagued by mould, collapsing ceilings and flooding

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COLLAPSED ceilings, mouldy walls and water leaking through plugs have caused a decade of grief for residents in an upmarket housing complex.

Home owners in Crookston's Parklands Oval have been dealing with problems in their homes since they were built in 2006.

They have accused construction firm Miller Homes of shoddy building work, and claim they are now suffering the consequences in their insurance payments.

Huge patches of furry mould can be seen lining the wall of one of the properties, while upstairs the ceiling has collapsed revealing a roof with gaping holes in it.

Residents say it is the sixth time it has happened in the ten years the homes have been standing.

Home owners from at least seven other buildings in the complex have also complained of regular flooding and roof damage.

The houses on the site of the old Leverndale psychiatric hospital, regularly sell for upwards of £100,000, and the larger properties can sell for more than £200,000.

Residents living in one of the worst affected blocks say construction firm Miller Homes have taken no responsibility for the continuous problems they have faced since moving in ten years ago.

They have contacted the National House Building Council (NHBC) but said they have been unable to help them.

Scott Brennan, chairman of theParklands Oval Residents Association said: "With NHBC, you end up getting sucked into this phoney war. It's like a spiders web of bureaucracy.

"You've got more protection on a tin of beans than buying a property, it seems."

Paul Kelly, who has lived in a top floor flat in the complex for a decade said his ceiling has caved in twice due to flooding.

He said: "My ceiling came down, it's going to come down again.

"It's also in the cupboard in my hall, there's a big hole.

"Water also comes in through my plugs and lights.

"Our excesses are going up every year because we've had to claim this on the insurance every single year to cover the damage."

Maureen Hearns, who has also lived in her flat for 10 years, said: "We love this site but we've had the most extreme difficulties with the roof from day one.

"I've had five years of water ingress, starting about five months after I moved in."

The 60-year-old said her attempts to contact Miller about the problems in the past have been unsuccessful.

She explained: "The roof was damaged on Hogmanay, six months after we moved in, and we lost a number of tiles.

"We ended up with a big hole in the roof and water coming in. We contacted Miller and got a letter in February saying there was one tile missing and we had to go to the factor.

"By May and June that same year we still had sodden carpets from the damage.

"It's just become a regular occurrence now. Every year we have been plagued by these problems."

Julie Watson, who has lived at Parklands Oval for 10 years, said she had mould growing around her windows within eight weeks of moving to the brand new house.

She said: "The windows weren't sealed properly, there was mould growing. That was just the beginning."

In 2011, storms hit the area and knocked the gable end of the one of the blocks completely off.

Bricks crashed onto two cars below, damaging the vehicles and forcing the owners to claim on their insurance after Miller allegedly ignored their letters for four years.

Another resident said tiles had come off her roof "on at least five occasions" and added: "We have been really lucky not to have been injured walking out our front door when the winds are strong."

Another home owner said his block had faced similar problems with the stairwell ceiling.

He said: "Our stairway had serious issues with the ceiling - having water damage and finally giving way which led to a huge amount of plasterboard coming tumbling down and [it] could have seriously hurt someone."

A spokeswoman from Miller Homes said: "We are aware of the concerns of some residents at Parklands Oval regarding the roof, and we have been in touch with them about this.

"A recent inspection by the independent NHBC confirmed that Miller Homes is not liable for the issues as repair work undertaken on the roof had been carried out by a third party appointed by the development’s factor.

"Following the NHBC’s findings, the matter has been passed to the residents’ insurance company.

"We take all concerns from our customers seriously and ensure we respond to these in line with our obligations and under the conditions of their warranty."

An NHBC spokeswoman said: “We’re sorry to hear that homeowners on this development have reported  problems with their new homes.

"We have been contacted by a number of individuals on the development and have been liaising directly with them regarding their claims. 

"Under our Buildmark cover we are committed to working with builders and homeowners to ensure homes meet NHBC’s technical standards.”