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First Time Buyers Find Out Their New Build Property Is Worthless

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First Time Buyers Find Out Their New Build Property Is Worthless

First time buyers have been left shocked to find out that the homes they bought some years ago are now absolutely worthless:

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One couple who have found themselves in this situation is Chris and Steph Oliver who paid £130,000 for their three-bedroom new-build in Bradford, UK, back in 2014.

The couple, 34 and 29 respectively, were using the government's 20 percent Help to Buy scheme and got a mortgage with a term of five years.

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As they came to remortgage, the pair have discovered that the building they purchased had not been completed in line with building regulations.

To make matters worse, the firm behind the development - Sherwood Homes - went into administration back in February. It doesn't end there either because it then emerged that all 13 homes on the new build estate are facing the same problems.

The Mirror reported that one of the main issues was that the estate backs onto what used to be a landfill site. Despite it being inactive for over four decades, the council says it still releases toxic methane gas.

When building began, there was supposed to be a protective membrane fitting under the floors of each property but no one has proof that it was fitted correctly - or ever completed.

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Chris Oliver, a graphic designer, said: "It's a mess. We feel let down by the systems in this country. There's been so many people who we should have been able to trust and rely on and no one wants to help."

Adeel Azfal also bought a house on the development. Credit: BBC/Rip Off Britain
Adeel Azfal also bought a house on the development. Credit: BBC/Rip Off Britain

Adeel Azfal, 27, bought one of the properties for £175,000 in June of 2016. He lives with his partner and daughter, Anya, two.

He said: "We've got a young family. My partner doesn't work so we are tied into what we thought would be our forever home. When we realised it was worth nothing it was a shock.

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"I'm in £150,000 worth of debt to my mortgage provider and I'm paying for a house that's worth nothing at all."

Gary Rycroft, a new-build solicitor, advised the residents to take action against their conveyancing solicitors, saying: "The conveyancing solicitor on the face of it hasn't spotted various issues you would expect them to spot.

"In terms of environmental issues arising on the site, the new road and the sewers. These are all fundamental issues and all part of the job you would expect a conveyancing surveyor would do."

Both lots of homeowners claim that their conveyancing solicitors denied any wrongdoing but did agree to pay towards finishing the building work.

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A Bradford Council spokesperson told the programme: "Clearly residents have been let down by the developer and the agencies that worked for the developer, and that is why the Council have supported residents through guidance and advice.

"We understand that a number of the residents have successfully taken legal action against the developer's agencies in order to rectify some of the problems on site, which the Council considers to be the correct route for residents to be following."

Featured Image Credit: BBC/Rip Off Britain

Topics: News, UK Community, UK

Rebecca Shepherd
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