An entire new-build estate of 13 homes has been rendered worthless because developers didn’t complete them to building regulations standards.
The homes, worth up to £180,000, were not fitted with gas membranes, despite the estate backing onto a former landfill site that still emits toxic methane vapours. Developers Sherwood Homes then went into administration, leaving the houses with thousands of pounds of work uncompleted.
Chris, 34, and Steph Oliver, 29, bought their three-bed house for £130,000 in 2014 and found their home was valued at £0 when they tried to remortgage the property.
Appearing on the the BBC’s Rip Off Britain today, the couple said they felt ‘let down by the systems in this country’. Mr Oliver went on: ‘There’s been so many people who we should have been able to trust and rely on and no one wants to help.
‘We tried to contact Sherwood Homes. There was no reply. They stopped answering phone lines and emails. We were in a state of panic.’
He added: ‘Each house has their own individual snagging problems, but the one thing that we’ve all got in common is not a single one has building regulations.
‘The road hasn’t been adopted by the council and it doesn’t meet with the drawings that were offered by the architect, the drainage… it’s just a total mess really.’
Adeel Azfal, 27, who lives with his partner and daughter Anya, two, bought their house for £175,000 in June 2016. They are now in £150,000 of debt to their mortgage provider.
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.’
A third resident, Hamid Khan, a former Bradford council worker, paid £180,000 for his home in 2016. He said the floors of his home had to be ripped up just to verify if the building work had been completed.
He told the BBC: ‘It doesn’t make sense. You’re so close to a landfill site and to not install a gas membrane and not install correctly. It’s just unheard of.’
The Olivers and Mr Azfal have both complained to their conveyancing solicitors, who denied any negligence but agreed to contribute towards finishing the building work. Mr Khan has taken his issue to the Legal Omudsman.
A Bradford Council spokesperson told Rip Off Britain: ‘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.’
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