Living in a new property

If you are lucky enough to live in a property that has been built in the last year, it will be covered by a 12-month defect period. This is effectively a one-year warranty from the point the property was completed and means that problems caused by design, materials, workmanship or specification will be dealt with by the builder. This excludes faults and issues that arise as a result of tenant misuse, neglect, wilful acts or accidental damage.

Living in a new property

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It is important with a new property that you allow it to 'settle' and dry out gently. This will usually take between 9 - 12 months. At the end of the defects period, we will carry out an inspection to check that everything is in order and agree any work needed.

Drying out, cracks and shrinkage
Small cracks in the walls and gaps in joinery are both common signs of shrinkage. This happens when materials contract as they dry out. It's extremely unlikely that these cracks are anything significant and you can easily put them right with filler during routine decoration. It is wise to wait until the drying out process is complete before trying to fill and gaps, as they may continue to grow or new ones may appear.

To keep cracks and gaps to a minimum, you need to allow your home to dry out gradually and try to keep an even temperature throughout the property. Leaving your window vents open will help to air your home and allows moisture to evaporate more naturally.

The appearance of a white deposit on the wall (known as efflorescence) can also be an effect of the drying-out process. These white deposits are natural salts that come out of the wall materials and are quite normal. The salts are not harmful and usually disappear over time. Where they appear on internal walls, they can be brushed or wiped away.

Decorating your home
Hopefully you will be happy with the wall colours in your new home, but if you want to decorate, then please wait until the drying out process is complete. Decorating at an early stage could be a waste of time, as shrinkage cracks may continue to appear.