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New Build Hell...

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  • New Build Hell...

    Hi all,

    This is going to be a long message so I shall apologies in advance, myself and my partner have been through 16 months of frustration and we are at our wits end. We are first time buyers and have been trying to get on the property ladder. We feel we have been miss treated along the line and we are at the point where we do not know who to trust. I will tell you a little about what we have been through:


    In January of last year we started to save for a deposit for a house - we opted for a New Build home as we knew there where schemes that could help us get onto the ladder easier. In the same month (JAN 2012) we put an early bird reservation (£500.00) on a home that we loved, it was a Lovell home and hadn't yet been built. The houses where down for completion in October 2012 at this point. We waited several months for the house price to been released, finally in June 2012 the price was released and we could change our Early Bird Reservation into a Reservation (£500.00) - at this point we, from a recommendation of a work colleague, assigned a solicitor. Now this is where our experience changed, we where expecting a 3-4 week exchange date, where approved for a mortgage application, FirstBuy scheme also approved us straight away, we had our deposit in the bank and, in our eyes, we were just waiting on the completion of the house. We started to receive information from our solicitor that there was a problem with Lovell and the City Council planning permissions for the site - Lovell were difficult from the beginning, one minute they would stay they were addressing the problem and the next they would not acknowledge that there was one - this became increasing frustrating and upsetting for both me and my partner. To cut that side of the story down this carried on for 6 months until December 2012, after some delays the house was ready to move into by 21st December - Lovell finally added an Indemnity to the contract in order to cover any problems we would see with them not meeting the planning condition 'Permission to Occupy'. We thought at this point we would finally get to move into our home - unfortunately in January 2013 the lender pulled out of lending us the money due to the planning permissions not being met - this was devastating for me and my partner, having already spend so much money on the house, including buying carpets. We tried to stay as positive as we could and decided that it wasn't going to work out with Lovell and was time to walk away. We found another house from the builders Taylor Wimpey and put a £99 reservation on that - we advised our solicitor to let Lovell know we would not be proceeding and request that we would be reimbursed for our loss, the least being that they paid the solicitor bill that had worked up along with giving us our £500.00 reservation back on the basis that the house was unmortgageable. Lovell's solicitors wrote to us to say that they would not be reimbursing us.


    To make matters less complicated we decided to stick with the same solicitor for the next house we were planning to buy. Again, to cut a long story short we are now into our third month since we put reservation down are experiencing the same issues - the builder has not had the planning permissions discharged from the council.
    The difference with this builder is that they have admitted a problem and are attempting to fix it (this maybe due to the fact that 200 people currently are occupying the site and all paying council tax!). They are working on getting the conditions discharged but its going slowly.

    We aren't sure if were the fault lies, is it our solicitor nit-picking? or are the builders trying to cut corners? Either way, yet again, its all at our financial loss.

    It has taken us a year to save for our deposit along with all the other fee's needed to buy a house, we now owe out over £2000 in solicitors fee's, we have lost £500.00 to Lovell, paid over £700 to Nationwide in mortgage applications, lost money on Carpets for the first house as well as money for searches and council queries, the list is ongoing. We are frightened that we aren't going to have anything to show for all of our savings at the end if this house doesn't go forward either. As you can imagine this stress and upset has made both us ill for the past 12 months and through NO fault of our own it all feels extremely unfair. We just don't know where to turn for help but we definitely need it.

    Our solicitor has advised us to go to Trading Standards in the Council regarding Lovell, or to sue them but this is at more expense that we don't have. We really feel we have been mistreated by somebody down the line, whether it be the solicitor or the builders, but its us who are losing the money and its us who don't have it to lose. What we can't understand is how so many others are living on these sites and when we can't.


    Help...

  • #2
    Re: New Build Hell...

    Regarding Lovells, they have sold you a house you cannot legally occupy!
    This is disgraceful and you MUST make a full Dispute Resolution Claim using the Consumer Code for House Builders. The maximum you can claim is £15,000 which should cover all your losses from the abortive purchase. It will cost you a total of £120 (you can even get this back when you win) and will be dealt with in a matter of weeks.
    You can find out more on my website! Search "Consumer Code" on the home page.
    Of course neither builder will have mentioned the Consumer Code for Hosuebuilders and given you a copy - this in itself breacheds requirement 1.2 of the Code
    If your solicitor was specified or nominated by either house builder this breaches requirement 2.5 of the Code.

    Planning persmission discharged may just be related to some of the "conditions" that planning approval is subject to, such as landscaping or children's play araes etc which cannot be discharged until he whole scheme is completed.
    Taylor Wimpey are not exactly the fastest to get this work completed as the BBC Watchdog programme in Sept 2012 showed. You can view HERE

    Had the carpets been laid in your first house? If so then Lovells should pay for them.
    If not then you should be able to just lose a deposit as the supplier had not spent any money perhaps.

    It amazes me that the house builders continue to find people every year to buy their tiny badly-built overpriced new homes. More will buy now the government is subsidising the high prices with Help-To-Buy
    BRAND NEW HOMES
    Information for UK new home buyers
    New Home Blog The latest news and views

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New Build Hell...

      Thanks very much for your help! I have done a little bit of research today and I am going to make a claim asap, only thing is I cant seem to find an application form online to do this? Do you know where I could find one? There is a contact form on the NHBC website - is this it?

      Your website is very helpful too, I shall be forwarding it to anybody I know buying new build in the future - I wish I had found it before!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New Build Hell...

        Thank you for your kind comments regarding my website.

        After reading your reply, I checked the Consumer Code website and the Code itself for the "Application Form" and couldnt find it anywhere.
        A cynic may infer that they dont want you to complain about house builders!

        I have asked that they e mail me one, when they do I will upload it to my website on the Dispute Page. In the meantime you should e mail, the Consumer Code and ask for one. [email protected]

        The Warranty providers such as the NHBC whilst stakeholders and ultimatly enforcers (at least in theory!), do not administer the Code resolution scheme.
        BRAND NEW HOMES
        Information for UK new home buyers
        New Home Blog The latest news and views

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New Build Hell...

          Update:
          It would appear it is quite difficult to obtain the Application Form!
          The people at Consumer Code say that you need to approach your warranty provider so they can "determine whether the problem is something that is covered under the warranty cover"
          "If it is not covered under the warranty cover then the New Home Warranty provider in question can issue you with an application form for submission to the Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme."

          The NHBC tell me that:
          "to check that a purchaser or homeowner is eligible to seek assistance under the Code’s dispute resolution scheme, we will check that the property was built by a builder registered by NHBC and that it was to be provided with cover under our warranty"
          So if you do not actually buy a home, but need to use the dispute service to get your Reservation Fee refunded, it may not be that easy!

          It would appear that the Consumer Code sub contract this to the warranty providers who are trying to make using the Dispute Resolution Scheme as difficult as they can.

          Perhaps that is why they have had just 14 cases since the code as introduced in April 2010!
          BRAND NEW HOMES
          Information for UK new home buyers
          New Home Blog The latest news and views

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New Build Hell...

            I have now received the Dispute Resolution Application Form from the NHBC.

            Each form has a box the warranty provider is supposed to fill in with a "Claim Ref no" and "Date of issue" This indicates that the form should be provided by the relevant warranty provider. However, given my experience it may not be that straightforward.

            The scheme is independant of the NHBC and other warranty providers and the requirements of the Consumer Code are not solely in relation to matters that may arise after the purchase of a property but also refer to sales and advertising and pre-contract information and reservations.

            More information and downloads available on my website below.
            BRAND NEW HOMES
            Information for UK new home buyers
            New Home Blog The latest news and views

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New Build Hell...

              Hi,

              Thanks for the info, we really appreciate it!

              I have contacted both the Consumer Code (who directed me to NHBC) and the NHBC now, neither have given me a form. I think your right in saying they like to make this difficult.

              Thank you for obtaining the form, I am going to press this as much as I can, hopefully we can get a positive outcome.

              I will keep you updated!

              Sophie

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New Build Hell...

                Good luck with thsi.
                I am adding another guidance page to my website today which will include a
                Checklist before submitting the Application Form so that those using the IDRS
                Consumer Code for Home Builders' Adjudication Scheme (CCHBAS) dont get caught out by the many traps!

                The chap who runs this Forum doesnt like me posting helpful links so you will have to use the search bar on the Home Page or Site Map.

                You can download the Application Form from my website but it the NHBC still need to give you a claim number. Contact [email protected]
                BRAND NEW HOMES
                Information for UK new home buyers
                New Home Blog The latest news and views

                Comment

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