A Wiltshire couple have “had enough” after a four-year battle against a “structural defect” causing a damp smell in their new home.

Chris and Kate Okun bought their house, on Ramsay Road in Calne, in January 2019 as part of a shared ownership scheme with Sovereign Network Group (SNG), formerly Sovereign Housing Association.

Within six months the pair, who live with their two young children, discovered a “defect” with the Persimmon Homes Wessex property was causing serious and persistent damp to rise from below, near their front door.

They have since been battling to get the issue fixed, but say it remains an “embarrassing” problem that “stinks”.

Mr Okun said a private surveyor informed them the issue was due to a “structural defect”.  

Mrs Okun revealed the persistent problems have had an impact on the family’s mental health and have often left her “not wanting to come home.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The damp patch near the front doorThe damp patch near the front door (Image: Kate Okun)

She said: “I’ve been in tears about it, I feel bad for my kids having to be around it, our two-year-old knows that she can’t go near it and calls it the ‘dirty bit’.

“It’s just been relentless, no one wants to help or just bodges it, and it’s taken a toll.

“I’ve just honestly had enough now.”

They added they have been unhappy with the way SNG has dealt with their complaints.

Mr Okun added: “We’ve been fighting for four and a half years, the house is defected and nobody seems to know how to fix it.

“We’re always left waiting and we’re made to feel responsible.”

SNG insists it has worked with the couple to resolve the problems in their home and expects the final remedial works to be completed soon.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The damp patch near the front doorThe damp patch near the front door (Image: Kate Okun)

A spokesperson for the housing association said: "We have been in regular contact with Mr and Mrs Okun, we understand their frustration, and we're sorry that the process of surveying, repairing and fully rectifying the defect to their home has taken some time.

“Further remedial works were recently completed, and we expect the final works to be completed shortly.

"When purchasing a newly built property, our shared ownership customers benefit from a warranty that lasts for up to 12 years."

Persimmon apologised for the inconvenience caused by the issue and emphasised that they have been working to remedy it.

A spokesperson added: "After being notified by the occupiers we've undertaken targeted measures to address the issue.

"We believe these actions should resolve the concerns raised and apologise to Mr and Mrs Okun for any inconvenience this issue has caused."