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To dislike being called a trouble maker

(45 Posts)
duckintrouble Thu 18-May-17 12:01:02

NC for this as very outing.

I am a resident of a new build on a development.
Myself and my husband bought this house in March 16. At the time we were sold we were told that no new build properties in our council were being sold as freehold and assured that the development would not be selling the leaseholds on our property, as they had to be given back to the council after a set period of time, giving us some security.

we bought and just over a year later the leaseholds have been sold to a private company who is requesting hundreds of pounds just to apply for a price so we can buy our land,

we used the solicitors recommended by the developers, who have seemingly forgot to mention these huge clauses within our purchases.
From building an extension would cost us thousands of pounds for approval, to what animals we can have in our home, to charging us for application and permission to change our carpets, door handles, light fittings etc. insisting we decorate at specific times during our lease. They are not responsible for any maintenance of the grounds of pipe work.

There is a clause in the lease that says they can force entry if we are late on our ground rent or if we break any of the 32 pages of regulations (although written notice is required from LL). I have been advised that this is just a scare tactic, but from my own knowledge if it's written into the lease then surely its enforceable?

They refer to themselves as our landlord which I know they technically are (but it still irks me), it doesn't matter myself and my husband spent 130K for the property and our land was sold on for between 5-7k they in effect can tell us how to live our lives.

This has made our house virtually unsaleable as mortgage companies are starting to refuse mortgages on these grounds

The developers as a company have lied at every stage of our application changing plans after we had already placed 100s into the process,

We have lived on a building site for more then a year with no regard shown for our standard of living from heavy ground work at 7am to blocking my car in at least 10 times even after I have explained I have a disabled child and need to be able to get in and out of my property at all times.(I know this bit is illegal)

Legally required checks have not been carried out, and the building is of such poor quality that many owners have had to spend 1000s just to get them up to a livable standard.

they broke the legal terms the day we moved in by having a telephone pole blocking all residents access for 6 weeks, I should have known then but realistically it was already too late.

So myself and my neighbours have been scrambling around trying to nail down the details of this and how to take the next steps, so leaflets have gone round and we are having a meeting with the council (who also had no idea this was happening and didnt grant approval for the houses to be sold in these terms, they now have a legal team working on it themselves)

so a lady who had just completed on her house went up to the sales office and tried to ask for some further clarity (as she had been told the same lies as us), they refused to discuss the matter with her.
She mentioned she would come and see me instead and the sales agents response was
"she is a trouble maker"

I find this rather insulting as all I have done is offer the residence the guidance we should have been given in the first place, so AIBU (please be gentle, I have had about 2 hours sleep in the past..... god knows)

BillSykesDog Thu 18-May-17 12:12:10

Well you are making trouble for them aren't you? And they deserve it. There's nowt wrong with being a trouble maker. Famous trouble makers include Gandhi and Mandela. Long live the trouble makers I say!

FizzyGreenWater Thu 18-May-17 12:15:45

You have all this going on and you are at all fazed about being called a trouble maker?

Juat a bit puzzled at the angle of your post!

To answer the Q, in your position I'd be DELIGHTED to be called a trouble maker and would be fully expecting the shower of shites you are dealing with to call me that and worse. And I would laugh and say, yes I am going to be someone who causes a whole load of trouble for you, as much as I bloody well can in fact. Oh and the council too, and their legal team, and our legal team. Cheers for the affirmation that we're having the effect we intend!!

OP - I feel for you. Bloody nightmare. Get as organised as you can. Keep in touch with the council and make sure they understand that they'd better start helping sort this mess or you will go as public as possible and it isn't going ot be good for them. Get your own legals, maybe see if house insurance (haha!!) can cover this, between a few of you nieghbours maybe? Talk to the local press in the meantime, I'd say that publicity NOW is useful, as they sure aren't going to sell as many of those houses the more people are aware of the scam they are.

This should be illegal. What's happened to you probably IS illegal, depending on the form these 'assurances' took. Get lawyered up and be as much of a TROUBLEMAKER as you possibly can.

duckintrouble Thu 18-May-17 12:21:06

Thank BillSykes I think its just getting to the point I want some professionalism from them.

And obviously a rant on here grin

UnicornSparkles1 Thu 18-May-17 12:26:21

Yep trouble maker and you should be damn proud! Too right you're making trouble. Unleash the fury of hell and be proud of your trouble maker status. Good luck OP and I agree with Fizzy that you should start courting the media. Get your Daily Mail sad face at the ready and use them to your advantage.

duckintrouble Thu 18-May-17 12:26:38

Fizzy, I think am just worried that by calling me a trouble maker other people will think we are being dramatic and talking out of our backsides and not listen to the advice we are giving them.

Which considering I remember how blinded I was by the fact I was going to own my very first home, is a real possibility.

We have banners that we can hang on our cars arriving today (banned from hanging them on the external or putting anything in our windows that is visible from the outside) And ive stopped 260k worth of sales going through in the last 2 days, so I can kind of see why they dislike me

UnicornSparkles1 Thu 18-May-17 12:36:29

The salesman will just be furious that he's not getting his commission. Boo hoo.

This is why you need to speak to the press. Get them to print the facts in black and white.

GU24Mum Thu 18-May-17 12:37:45

Have a listen to "You and Yours" on Radio 4 - if you look through the podcasts, there was a programme about 3 weeks ago on this subject and might be useful.

SandyBells Thu 18-May-17 12:45:31

Yes I was going to mention You and Yorus a well- -also look at the moneybox archives on Radio 4. This very issue has been discussed alot lately in the media, due to the development companies like your engaging in some shady practices. I believe there is a consumer group involved etc.

I found this, but there are others as well.

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b082vyzw

UrsulaPandress Thu 18-May-17 12:48:14

I'm sorry but all that sounds bloody awful - can the leaseholder actually stipulate all those things? I used to pay £2 a year for the ground rent on my first house and never heard from the leaseholder.

Go you with your trouble making.

HeyHoThereYouGo657 Thu 18-May-17 12:50:10

We have banners that we can hang on our cars arriving today (banned from hanging them on the external or putting anything in our windows that is visible from the outside) And ive stopped 260k worth of sales going through in the last 2 days, so I can kind of see why they dislike me

grin cake wine

Bloody well done OP . Take on them developers and I hope you win. Cheek of them .

dataandspot Thu 18-May-17 12:51:56

What does the banner say?

DissonantInterval Thu 18-May-17 12:58:20

In situations like this it's no bad thing to be labelled a trouble-maker imo. You are well within your rights to take this as far as you need to because it sounds bloody disgraceful. I'm in a HA flat and have less conditions imposed on me than you do!

Your 'landlord' sounds to be in breech of a LOT of things and need to be made accountable for any 'lies by omission' (which failing to mention various clauses in your lease). Press, local MP, solicitors, whatever regulatory body is most relevant etc. I'd resort to anything legal here. They sound like total shits angry.

Elphaba99 Thu 18-May-17 13:05:44

OP: "At the time we were sold we were told that no new build properties in our council were being sold as freehold and assured that the development would not be selling the leaseholds on our property, as they had to be given back to the council after a set period of time, giving us some security."

By any chance was this "assurance" put in writing anywhere?

confuugled1 Thu 18-May-17 13:06:29

Have you got legal cover on your house insurance? Would be worth talking to them for a start...

I would also be talking to the solicitors that acted for you in the sale - just because they were the ones recommended by the builders doesn't mean that they can get away with giving you false information or forgetting to mention huge problems with your lease... Do you have anything in writing to confirm that you were told that you were told that the leaseholds were not going to be sold? And don't they have to offer them to you before selling them to anyone else - so did they ever send you anything to offer it to you? There's no way that they should have let you sign anything that required you to get permission to change your carpets or doorhandles - to not bring it to your attention is shocking. I would be threatening that you will all (I assume other purchasers also used them and are also unhappy!) be reporting them to the solicitors watchdog, making a complaint about unprofessional conduct and expecting compensation for the financial pickle that you find yourself in. Even if nothing comes of it, it might make the solicitors stop and think for a moment about how they are lacking in integrity. Are you able to afford to go to a local decent solicitor or CAB and get a little advice on what you were told vs what you should have been told - and if there's anything you can do about it?

It's usual to expect to have a leasehold flat - that might impose conditions. But you shouldn't have those sorts of conditions imposed on a house! shockangry.

Do you have a friend that the developers wouldn't know is connected to you - could they come and pretend to be interested in buying a new build, get them to record (covertly if necessary, or even just audio, or they could have a partner who was recording them and just happened to get the important bit recorded by 'accident') the sales blurb, just to see what they are currently saying about leaseholds and the conditions imposed on purchasers, it would be helpful to show that they are still peddling lies if that is the case.

Would you be interested in getting the local press involved? Or somebody like Watchdog? There's definitely been somebody on tv talking about poorly built houses recently.

Is there any social media that you can use to find out or ask questions on, for the head office, as to why you were lied to?

one of the big house builders has just had some really bad press for rushing to finish so many houses that they all ended up really shoddy. I can't remember which one it was but somebody else on here might - look them up, see what they did to make their campaign effective.

unfortunately you can't contact your mp at the moment, but do so as soon as the election has happened. You could try talking to your local councillor and your parish councillor too - they can be very helpful.

And whilst I agree with others that troublemaker is something to be proud of here - when talking to her and others remind her that you're not a trouble maker, you're a victim of their lies, deceit, and that if they had acted legally, decently with integrity then there wouldn't be any victims that needed to make trouble stand up for their own rights.

duckintrouble Thu 18-May-17 13:20:01

sorry guys will try and answer as many questions as possible.

our ground rent is £150 per year and set to rise every 10 years, which admittedly while I would of wished I owned the entire thing, I would of paid and have already paid my first years.

We are waiting for on our conveyancing file to come from the solicitors and Ive put in a FIO request that is currently being proceed. So we can assess if you can sue, which i reeeeally reeeeally hope we can

our mp is actually still out and about and is due to take a tour of our area, my neighbour has just had the call giving us full permission from our council to hang our banners on their land right in front of our house (which is conveniently on the same block as the show home) and they've said a photo op will be a brilliant way of announcing their support of our campaign.

DissonantInterval Thu 18-May-17 13:23:58

Bloody well done you. Do what you have to do and keep on going.

DissonantInterval Thu 18-May-17 13:24:50

Great that your neighbours are letting you hang banners on their land too.

duckintrouble Thu 18-May-17 13:26:31

We have some residents saying they have assurances in emails, I've not seen it yet.

I have also put in a very pointed question in my complaint today that they either have to admit they've said this or deny everything. They admit great, they deny i have proof to show potential buyers who have heard different.

user1486669405 Thu 18-May-17 13:34:02

I heard that programme too, mentioned above on radio 4. Listen to it, if you haven't. There are a lot of people in your position, you need to somehow get together to form a pressure group.

Absolute shysters, who are making your homes unsellable.

duckintrouble Thu 18-May-17 13:36:12

Banners say <development name>
thinking of buying your new dream home?
do you realise if you buy your home as LEASEHOLD you will still have LANDLORDS who can tell you what you can and can't do..
insist on FREEHOLD not LEASEHOLD

beautifully designed by my neighbour

duckintrouble Thu 18-May-17 13:38:41

User yes am already a member of a few national groups, it is shocking how widespread this is.

Even if mine somehow gets solved I will still be very active within the surrounding areas, as once this has happened to you, it's not something you can ever forget or walk away from as strange as that sounds

MyOpe Thu 18-May-17 13:55:40

There is a clause in the lease that says they can force entry if we are late on our ground rent or if we break any of the 32 pages of regulations (although written notice is required from LL). I have been advised that this is just a scare tactic, but from my own knowledge if it's written into the lease then surely its enforceable?

I would say a big fat no to this one. They would be breaking and entering. Rules in England are very strict on this. Only exceptions are certain kinds of bailiffs, the police (again only in certain circumstances) and when there is some kind of safety issue (e.g. needing access to gas supply etc). They need consent from you otherwise. Landlords put this kind of BS in their leases all the time, but it is completely unenforceable!

MyOpe Thu 18-May-17 13:56:18

And illegal of them if they do try to enforce it!

MyOpe Thu 18-May-17 13:57:12

They sound like b*stds. If you can get good support and legal advice I'd say go for it.

<fellow trouble-maker>

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