A mother-of-two whose dream home almost turned into a nightmare is warning people of the risks of moving into new builds.

Sarah Annan has spent the past four months battling over a leak that caused mould to spread across her walls.

After a lot of toing and froing with housing association Aster and developer Vistry, most of the issues are finally fixed.

But the experience of dealing with the repairs "has caused me and my husband so much stress".

Sarah said: "I want people to know what can happen when you buy a new build – it has been so difficult to get repairs.

"There has been such a lack of responsibility from Aster and Vistry, with them both blaming each other."

The water leak

The 47-year-old HR advisor moved into her three-bedroom house in Woodruff Close, Curbridge, with her husband and two children after relocating from Surrey in April.

But after noticing some small water marks on the ceiling, the family discovered a leak from their upstairs toilet.

Sarah called Aster, who contacted Vistry and arranged for Hampshire Plumbing to take a look.

The leak on the toilet was fixed and a plasterer was sent out to fix the ceiling.

Hampshire Chronicle: The family moved to their home in April this yearThe family moved to their home in April this year (Image: Sarah Annan)

Three days after the plasterer left Sarah noticed a patch of mould growing on the new plaster. 

She said: “We started to notice a dark patch in the middle of the plaster but were told that the plaster would get darker and that it was nothing to worry about.

“From that day, the ceiling got worse every day.

“We got back in touch with Aster, who told us Vistry would soon be in touch. We waited and waited and nobody contacted us.”

READ MORE: Mum 'worried' for newborn baby after flat covered in mould

After two weeks water marks were visible across the entire ceiling and water was dripping down the walls.

Hampshire Chronicle: The water from the leak travelled across the ceiling and down the wallsThe water from the leak travelled across the ceiling and down the walls (Image: Sarah Annan)“This issue was so stressful that I actually felt physically sick for days.” 

She added: "We were really concerned about the impact the mould could have on our health and the health of my children."

Sarah contacted the defects department at Aster and the leak was fixed again.

However, more works are needed to fix the damage caused.

Aster and Vistry's response

A spokesperson from Aster and Vistry said: “We were very sorry to hear that our customer has experienced a leak in their home which resulted in some mould. The leak was attended to and fixed last week.

“We have been in regular contact with the customer with regard to the remedial work being carried out to fix the damage that the leak has caused.

“Our development partner is due to attend the property next Tuesday (19 September) to start these works. This is the earliest that these works can start, as we need the damaged area within the property to have had time to completely dry out first.

“We ensure that all of our customers in new-build properties are provided with a Home User Guide at the point of moving in. This contains a detailed section on how to report any problems, such as a leak, that may arise.”