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  • FIRST POST
    • locomomojojo
    • By locomomojojo 5th Feb 17, 10:51 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 3Thanks
    locomomojojo
    Leasehold Scandal
    • #1
    • 5th Feb 17, 10:51 PM
    Leasehold Scandal 5th Feb 17 at 10:51 PM
    We recently bought a new build home using the Help to Buy government scheme where they loan us 20% of the house price and we only need to produce a 5% deposit. We were sceptical about the process as we had been told at the initial appointment that if we reserved a property we would get flooring, garden turf and carpets included in the price which was changed at the second appointment. The house price was initially £264,950 with double parking. We returned the following week to reserve the plot (off plan) that we wanted. We were told that we would get a £500 contribution to legal fees if we used their nominated solicitors. During the reservation process (we had a different sales person to first visit) we queried why the 2 parking spaces and flooring and turf were not detailed on the form. The salesman said 'no we don't include that and it's only 1 parking space because the college own the land, its out of our control'. I told him the first sales lady had told us we would get the extras free of charge and that the parking was advertised on their website. He said he would see what he could do. We said we would hold on the reservation until he got back to us. We also notice the reservation form stated the house was Leasehold. We did not know this and asked why it said that. He explained it was a leasehold property because the college owned the land and not the developer so it was only available as a leasehold. We were disappointed as it does not mention the leasehold basis in the brochure or on the website. He said it's ok because the lease is 499 years long and we won't need to worry during our lifetime and the land is safe because the college own it.

    He got back to us a few days later and said the property we wanted was in high demand because it was end of terrace and would cost an extra £3k and the best they could do was £1,000 allowance towards extras and £500 unconditional contribution towards legal fees whichever solicitor we used. I argued back and forth as we wanted what we were originally promised but in the end we had to settle for the 1 parking space (we had run out of time to start the process elsewhere and we had to move within a tight timeframe and this was the last affordable house that was new build), £500 legal contribution and £1,000 flooring contribution although I put it in writing that we remained unhappy and still wanted to pursue the other promised items. I wrote to senior management and made a formal complaint which was never investigated and to date we have not had a full explanation as to why and how these false promise and false advertising came about.

    FAST FORWARD to completion September 2016. We move in. We have paid for our flooring £4,400. We did not get the £500 legal fee contribution. We did not get double parking. We did not get turf. There are at least 40 defects in the house, shoddy workmanship and the flooring is well below standard. I report the defects and after hours and hours of visits and days wasted spent at home most of the get sorted apart from the floor. Most snags were remedied in a poor and slapdash way but the floor is unacceptable. 3 times the flooring company have been to our home and just made it worse each time. The developer refuses to compensate our time and inconvenience or the cost of the flooring.

    Fast forward to January 2017. We remain unhappy with the sales process, the Customer Care and after sales service. Almost everything really. Except we have a house we own and feel secure in and although it wasn't freehold we had nothing to worry about because the lease was almost 500 years and therefore would not lose value and we would not lose the land during our lifetime. SO WE THOUGHT. We found out last weekend that the developer lied to us. THEY own the land. The Freehold was and should nave been made available to us. They committed crucial information we needed to make an informed decision, withheld information we needed to know and influenced / manipulated our decision by giving false information both verbally and via their marketing materials.

    We felt sick. We could not believe this had happened to us. We started to talk to other home ones on our plot and realised quickly they had been told exactly the same thing as us; the Freehold was owned by the college and not the developer. We were all sold our homes using deception. As if it couln't get worse, we cannot apparently buy our freehold until we have owned our properties for at least 2 years. The developer is going to sell the land in less than a year's time to another company. We will not get first refusal because our homes are houses and not flats. Meaning our Freeholds could increase in price significantly and become unaffordable to us and out us in negative equity/financial ruin. Or we may not be able to sell our houses. There are so many possibilities and most seem to be negative. We have all been duped.

    I was interviewed on the Victoria Derbyshire show on 02/02/2017. MP Sir Peter Bottomley also joined the panel and he was extremely supportive. This is getting media coverage and is being debated in Parliament so there is a tiny ray of hope. I am hoping that the fact we were all lied to will mean we can get our freeholds without an expensive legal battle. If anyone has any experience of this or can suggest any avenues we can follow or agencies that can support us I would really appreciate it.

    If anyone has a home on Kaleidoscope, Dunstable and wants to challenge Linden Homes and Galliford Try, please join our Facebook page Linden Homes | Leasehold Scandal | Complaints | Galliford Try
Page 1
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 6th Feb 17, 3:02 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 543 Thanks
    BBH123
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 17, 3:02 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 17, 3:02 PM
    Didnt want to read and run.

    I personally think Leasehold / Freehold will be the next biggest financial scandel along the lines of Endownments for those old enought to remember those. People not really understanding what they are taking on and paid prefessionals glossing over Leasehold details or constraints. Where else could you essentially lose your home if you can't find thousands of pounds on demand if they whack in a massive Sec 20.

    When Leasehold / Freehold first came about it was simple, you bought a leasehold flat, paid your service charges and Freeholder maintained the property.

    Nowadays a Freehold is often exchanged / sold regularly by those looking to make as much money out of them through admin charges and services charges and a whole host of other eroneous costs borne by Leaseholders. They are money making opportunties and Leases are not always definitive. Things like
    reasonable admin charges incurred by the Freeholder ( well whose to say what is reasonble)

    In your situation you have mentioned the Land being sold next year but not having first option to buy, the option will presumable go to the hightest bidder ( Freeholds are often sold at auction ). You will also have the worry of any new Freeholder wracking up service charges, admin costs, surveyor costs, parking a caravan, subletting your home if you wanted in the future, everything they can think of. Whats the betting the new owner starts charging for repairs / maintenace to the communal areas outside, roads / access etc who maintains those, do you have a right of access or are you suddenly to be billed for the right to use the land your parking space is on.

    I am surprised your Solicitor / conveyancer did not note the land owner by way of the Land Registry . You would have had an opportunity to see the Lease aswell before exchange ?

    These Leasehold stings seem to be becomming more and more prevalent unforutnately.
    • rjwr
    • By rjwr 6th Feb 17, 7:59 PM
    • 282 Posts
    • 186 Thanks
    rjwr
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 17, 7:59 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 17, 7:59 PM
    sorry to hear about your issue. My only advice is to keep doing what you are doing and shout as loud as you can about the situation.

    As per the above post, its a shame your solicitor didn't spot this prominent detail
    • FlyingDonkeys
    • By FlyingDonkeys 23rd Feb 17, 2:14 AM
    • 225 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    FlyingDonkeys
    • #4
    • 23rd Feb 17, 2:14 AM
    • #4
    • 23rd Feb 17, 2:14 AM
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/nov/05/ground-rent-scandal-engulfing-new-home-buyers-leasehold
    [B][I]Flying Donkeys- When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.
    Albert Einstein
    • FlyingDonkeys
    • By FlyingDonkeys 23rd Feb 17, 2:15 AM
    • 225 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    FlyingDonkeys
    • #5
    • 23rd Feb 17, 2:15 AM
    • #5
    • 23rd Feb 17, 2:15 AM
    Get ready to sue your lawyer for negligence and write to your MP and Leasehold Knowledge
    [B][I]Flying Donkeys- When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.
    Albert Einstein
    • HappyRose
    • By HappyRose 15th Mar 17, 10:58 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    HappyRose
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:58 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:58 AM
    Anyone get the idea this leasehold racquet is deliberate. Its surely against our Human Rights to have to deal with this systemic abuse of leaseholders?

    1. Put extortionate terms in the lease, which mean you can grab the property over a dispute in charges.

    2. Any dispute at Tribunal ruled over by secret court. There are no recordings, no redress without paying a fortune. Not one person representing themself has won on appeal. Agents allowed to lie. Lawyers win. They charge you for costs and you lose your property. All supported by Tribunal panel.

    3. Leaseholders flummoxed with paperwork at 11th hour etc. or no answers/receipts.

    4. Costs of applying and torturous process all designed to disadvantage the Leaseholders.

    5. Many MP’s are lawyers. They know this racquet is going on.

    6. Leaseholders left fighting for time on media controlled by 2 billionaires in UK and a couple of MP’s fighting the battle.

    7. In the meantime Leaseholders left having low quality of life and nervous breakdowns. It’s a money grab by the powerful and I’m sick of it.
    8. Add to this that many of the freeholders hide assets in offshore trusts.
    9. If a politician has offshore trust he does not have to declare, ownership is anonymous. Britain behind most of this industry. England and Wales only place to have freeholds. Scotland abolished it. It’s a relic of feudal law.
    10. Furthermore process to hold lawyers responsible for negligence and compensation is deliberately torturous.
    11. DCLG appoints Chairman of LEASE. LEASE is not fit for purpose.

    We are not all in this together. The lawyers, freeholders, regulators, government, MP's and Tribunals are all in it together to line their pockets at Leaseholder's expense.

    We need to stop this gravy train. No immigrants or EU responsible in fact the EU might be one way out. We have a right to justice and compensation.
    Last edited by HappyRose; 15-03-2017 at 11:06 AM.
    • Chanes
    • By Chanes 15th Mar 17, 11:20 AM
    • 841 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    Chanes
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 11:20 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 11:20 AM
    It seems to be the latest housing scandal and I think when some people are told the house is a leasehold have the idea that it is like a peppercorn ground rent with a set price and not allowed to be changed and lasting hundreds and hundreds of years. These new leasehold houses are a different thing completely, like a mutant nightmare of the original leaseholds.When it comes to selling another solicitor will surely pick up on a dreadful lease and how will that impact on the sale of the property?

    I hope this gets sorted out, how houses are being sold with leases is madness and I am sure I read the practice has been stopped in Scotland and other places. It's medieval!
    • mattb87
    • By mattb87 16th Mar 17, 6:55 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    mattb87
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 6:55 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 6:55 PM
    Is this an example of why it may be a bad idea to use a solicitor recommended by a developer?
    • Spartacus_Mills
    • By Spartacus_Mills 21st Mar 17, 1:04 PM
    • 5,123 Posts
    • 8,940 Thanks
    Spartacus_Mills
    • #9
    • 21st Mar 17, 1:04 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Mar 17, 1:04 PM
    Is this an example of why it may be a bad idea to use a solicitor recommended by a developer?
    Originally posted by mattb87
    Personally I would never do so, I would choose my own.
    "There's no such thing as Macra. Macra do not exist."
    "I could play all day in my Green Cathedral".
    "The Centuries that divide me shall be undone."
    "A dream? Really, Doctor. You'll be consulting the entrails of a sheep next. "
    • Katiejane13uk
    • By Katiejane13uk 27th Mar 17, 10:45 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Katiejane13uk
    National leasehold campaign
    I have set up the national leasehold campaign Facebook group. Please feel free to join.

    We are grouping together to fight this and take legal action.
    • Katiejane13uk
    • By Katiejane13uk 27th Mar 17, 10:46 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Katiejane13uk
    National leasehold campaign Facebook group are fighting this together.

    I have set this up to work together.

    Please join.
    • Marktheshark
    • By Marktheshark 27th Mar 17, 10:52 PM
    • 5,605 Posts
    • 7,036 Thanks
    Marktheshark
    It is confusing but simplified to this :
    Freehold = you own the house
    Leasehold = you own a bit of paper that lets you live in someone else's house.


    I agree, this is the next endowment scandal that will break, people are paying the same price for a bit of paper as they are for an actual house.
    Last edited by Marktheshark; 27-03-2017 at 10:54 PM.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
    • locomomojojo
    • By locomomojojo 10th Apr 17, 7:04 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    locomomojojo
    Galliford Try trading as Linden Homes are refusing to correspond with me. They have offered us our freehold at an additional cost of £6.2k. Today it appears that our home is already decreasing in value by approx. £10k yet they want us to increase our negative equity by a further £6k. Absolute robbery
    • locomomojojo
    • By locomomojojo 11th Sep 17, 12:02 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    locomomojojo
    Is this an example of why it may be a bad idea to use a solicitor recommended by a developer?
    Originally posted by mattb87
    We didn't use the Developers recommended solicitor despite them trying to 'lure' us to do so. We used the Banks recommended conveyancer. No better off...
    • locomomojojo
    • By locomomojojo 11th Sep 17, 12:10 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    locomomojojo
    National Leasehold Campaign
    National leasehold campaign Facebook group are fighting this together.

    I have set this up to work together.

    Please join.
    Originally posted by Katiejane13uk
    I joined :-) I am Louise O'Riordan lol. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done. The National Leasehold Campaign has given hope where there was none, strength when we wanted to give up and clarity when all the developers blow out is smoke. We will ensure change happens and even if we don't get everything we want we will know we gave it everything we had! I am not giving up. Ever. Thanks again Katie, you are an inspiration to all of us x
    • locomomojojo
    • By locomomojojo 11th Sep 17, 12:11 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    locomomojojo
    Freehold, Leasehold or Fleecehold?
    It is confusing but simplified to this :
    Freehold = you own the house
    Leasehold = you own a bit of paper that lets you live in someone else's house.


    I agree, this is the next endowment scandal that will break, people are paying the same price for a bit of paper as they are for an actual house.
    Originally posted by Marktheshark
    Then there's Fleecehold! A whole new breed.. you 'own' the land but can't do anything in or to your own home....
    • locomomojojo
    • By locomomojojo 11th Sep 17, 12:16 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    locomomojojo
    Freehold = Fleecehold!
    Galliford Try trading as Linden Homes are refusing to correspond with me. They have offered us our freehold at an additional cost of £6.2k. Today it appears that our home is already decreasing in value by approx. £10k yet they want us to increase our negative equity by a further £6k. Absolute robbery
    Originally posted by locomomojojo
    We managed to get a reduction in the Freehold offer however upon review of the offer (this time using a Leasehold Specialist Lawyer) it turns out what we have been offered is a Ground Rent Purchase. The 'Freehold' tenure is not reflected anywhere in the offer, all of the restrictive and onerous convenience of the Leasehold Contract remain. Galliford Try t/a Linden Homes have refused to remove or amend any clauses. The off expires tomorrow 11th September 2017. We cannot accept it and will have to wait at least another year before the statutory period kicks in. They may have already sold the land t investors by then. Who knows how much it will cost to buy the Freehold then? One things is for sure, we want a true freehold and not a leasehold with a fake Freehold heading. Let's hope the Government consultation throws a chink of light out for us stuck in this mess.
    • locomomojojo
    • By locomomojojo 11th Sep 17, 12:26 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    locomomojojo
    We recently bought a new build home using the Help to Buy government scheme where they loan us 20% of the house price and we only need to produce a 5% deposit. We were sceptical about the process as we had been told at the initial appointment that if we reserved a property we would get flooring, garden turf and carpets included in the price which was changed at the second appointment. The house price was initially £264,950 with double parking. We returned the following week to reserve the plot (off plan) that we wanted. We were told that we would get a £500 contribution to legal fees if we used their nominated solicitors. During the reservation process (we had a different sales person to first visit) we queried why the 2 parking spaces and flooring and turf were not detailed on the form. The salesman said 'no we don't include that and it's only 1 parking space because the college own the land, its out of our control'. I told him the first sales lady had told us we would get the extras free of charge and that the parking was advertised on their website. He said he would see what he could do. We said we would hold on the reservation until he got back to us. We also notice the reservation form stated the house was Leasehold. We did not know this and asked why it said that. He explained it was a leasehold property because the college owned the land and not the developer so it was only available as a leasehold. We were disappointed as it does not mention the leasehold basis in the brochure or on the website. He said it's ok because the lease is 499 years long and we won't need to worry during our lifetime and the land is safe because the college own it.

    He got back to us a few days later and said the property we wanted was in high demand because it was end of terrace and would cost an extra £3k and the best they could do was £1,000 allowance towards extras and £500 unconditional contribution towards legal fees whichever solicitor we used. I argued back and forth as we wanted what we were originally promised but in the end we had to settle for the 1 parking space (we had run out of time to start the process elsewhere and we had to move within a tight timeframe and this was the last affordable house that was new build), £500 legal contribution and £1,000 flooring contribution although I put it in writing that we remained unhappy and still wanted to pursue the other promised items. I wrote to senior management and made a formal complaint which was never investigated and to date we have not had a full explanation as to why and how these false promise and false advertising came about.

    FAST FORWARD to completion September 2016. We move in. We have paid for our flooring £4,400. We did not get the £500 legal fee contribution. We did not get double parking. We did not get turf. There are at least 40 defects in the house, shoddy workmanship and the flooring is well below standard. I report the defects and after hours and hours of visits and days wasted spent at home most of the get sorted apart from the floor. Most snags were remedied in a poor and slapdash way but the floor is unacceptable. 3 times the flooring company have been to our home and just made it worse each time. The developer refuses to compensate our time and inconvenience or the cost of the flooring.

    Fast forward to January 2017. We remain unhappy with the sales process, the Customer Care and after sales service. Almost everything really. Except we have a house we own and feel secure in and although it wasn't freehold we had nothing to worry about because the lease was almost 500 years and therefore would not lose value and we would not lose the land during our lifetime. SO WE THOUGHT. We found out last weekend that the developer lied to us. THEY own the land. The Freehold was and should nave been made available to us. They committed crucial information we needed to make an informed decision, withheld information we needed to know and influenced / manipulated our decision by giving false information both verbally and via their marketing materials.

    We felt sick. We could not believe this had happened to us. We started to talk to other home ones on our plot and realised quickly they had been told exactly the same thing as us; the Freehold was owned by the college and not the developer. We were all sold our homes using deception. As if it couln't get worse, we cannot apparently buy our freehold until we have owned our properties for at least 2 years. The developer is going to sell the land in less than a year's time to another company. We will not get first refusal because our homes are houses and not flats. Meaning our Freeholds could increase in price significantly and become unaffordable to us and out us in negative equity/financial ruin. Or we may not be able to sell our houses. There are so many possibilities and most seem to be negative. We have all been duped.

    I was interviewed on the Victoria Derbyshire show on 02/02/2017. MP Sir Peter Bottomley also joined the panel and he was extremely supportive. This is getting media coverage and is being debated in Parliament so there is a tiny ray of hope. I am hoping that the fact we were all lied to will mean we can get our freeholds without an expensive legal battle. If anyone has any experience of this or can suggest any avenues we can follow or agencies that can support us I would really appreciate it.

    If anyone has a home on Kaleidoscope, Dunstable and wants to challenge Linden Homes and Galliford Try, please join our Facebook page Linden Homes | Leasehold Scandal | Complaints | Galliford Try
    Originally posted by locomomojojo
    I have recorded a video which I am hoping to share far and wide in an to alert others of this leasehold mess and also to gain more people filling in the Government Consultation Questionnaire. We all need to input to tell the Government what they need to do to fix the housing crisis so that our kids and grandkids can get on the property ladder and so that those already in leasehold houses won't get financially forced out and homeless.

    Please watch and share by searching 'Galliford Try Louise O'Riordan Facebook' in Google
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