Author Topic: Completion date change  (Read 5915 times)

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indyjukebox

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Completion date change
« on: July 18, 2016, 09:52:38 am »
When we reserved our house in April, we were given a completion date of July/August. However, on exchange, we were told by the developer and their solicitors (to our's) that completion would be end of September. Then we had one update re: first fix and completion in September. Now out of the blue we have been sent a third and final letter notifying us of an end of July completion. Surely this is in breach of the Consumer Code for Homebuilders?

We are in the process of writing to our solicitors to tell them we are not happy, as this would mean we have no time for giving notice where we live etc. It would also cost us nearly 2 months of rent in addition to the mortgage and other costs. Plus we have a planned holiday mid August to early November.

We have been to see the house and it is progressing very well. No major concerns at all. We will get it professionally snagged and the developers have agreed to this.

What else should we tell our solicitors re: this situation. The contract is completion on notification (10 working days). Any help gladly received.


anthyboy

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2016, 01:42:01 am »
I assume your solicitor has written evidence that they changed the completion? If so simple get your solicitor to tell them you will not be moving in till end of September as they stated.

Other than that if they wish to get you in earlier, say you will move in (if you want to) but they will have to cover your rent you have to pay!

End of July sounds like half yearly figures to me. Plus to go from July/August to end of Sept and back again seems odd. I would simple stick to your guns and say no!

Extract from Consumer Code:

The builder must provide a contract which is clear and fair, complies with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, and clearly explains the home buyer’s contract termination rights.
Builders must give reliable and realistic information about when the home will be finished, the date of legal completion and the date for handover of the home. If an unreasonable delay occurs in completing the home, the home buyer has the right not to go ahead with the purchase and have their reservation fee returned without deductions.

The aim of the Code is to ensure that all new home buyers are:

1. Are treated fairly.
2. know what levels of service to expect.
3. Are given reliable information about their purchase and their consumer rights before and after they move in, and know how to access speedy, low-cost dispute resolution arrangements to deal with complaints.


Seems to me you have not been fairly treated and you certainly not been given reliable information. Therefore it the builders problem and when they say complete simple say no! But put it in writing via an email or solicitor and state the above as why.

Good Luck!


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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2016, 06:43:16 am »
I wish I had a pound for every time I read a post on the subject of completion dates.
How is it I could build a £7million 60 bedroom care home in 13 months and hand it over to the client on the day agreed at the outset, but housebuilders cant forecast 6 o'clock and half past five?

The Consumer Code for Home Builders  is quite clear on this, yet it still is one of the biggest causes for a claim using their Adjudication Scheme.
Quote
3.2 Timing of construction, completion and handover
Requirement: The Home Buyer must be given reliable and realistic information about when construction of the Home may be finished, the date of Legal Completion, and the date for handover of the Home. 

Guidance a) Information given to the Home Buyer before  Exchange of Contracts You should warn Home Buyers that weather and other matters beyond your reasonable control make the time needed to construct a Home difficult to predict.
It is unreasonable to give or expect to be given a definite date months in advance; however, certainty should increase as the Home nears completion.   
What you tell the Home Buyer about when the Home is likely to be ready will depend on what stage it is at when you provide the
3.2 Timing of construction, completion and handover
Consumer Code for Home Builders – builder guidance
information.  You may follow your own process and methods.  However, you may wish to use the following approach:

  • Before completing the foundations and ground floor – give the calendar quarter when the Home is likely to be ready.
  • When the roof is completed and the building weatherproof – give the month when the Home is likely to be ready.
  • When the Home is decorated and main services are connected – say what week the Home is likely to be ready.

I agree, saying July/August  then September and now back to July does seem like year end figures, but only Bellway is end July. If this is Bellway do not complete in July!
I am pleased you are having your home professionally inspected and snagged before legal completion by Tim Fee of Snagging inspections.co.uk. 07768 900200. Tell him I recommended him to you and you might get a discount!

It should be noted that 10 working days notice (14 calendar days) is standard and the minimum required by both solicitors and the mortgage providers. That said the home should be 100% complete when notice is issued.

Be careful and protect yourself.
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

indyjukebox

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 01:02:23 am »
Thanks for the replies. It isn't Bellway. End of year for this lot is October, which narrows it down to one builder! I just think the build has gone well and the site manager seems very motivated and keen. It doesn't seem to be an end of year scrabble to complete either.

Solicitors were surprised as they had not heard anything and were not planning for end of this month. They were still on course for September. They have also reassured us that it is 12 working days notice due to it being HTB.

We shall see what transpires. I did quote the "Code" to  everyone concerned and at least my solicitor agrees and is trying to confirm the actual completion date. Timothy Fee is on standby, depending on what the actual completion date is. I will update as things unfold.

Our major worry was the jump between the first fix letter (September completion) and then the third update (July completion).
We were concerned that the second letter (that we never got) might be used by the builder to state that they had warned us of a July completion. But we will never know if such a letter was ever sent out or what details it contained. I also find it odd that such important updates get sent out by standard mail.
Not signed for or even emailed?

anthyboy

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 05:40:17 pm »
So you or your solicitor have been informed!!!!

As for standard mail, if they have done this then they can't prove that have sent it.
Surely it stands to reason if neither you or your solicitor hasn't  received correspondence in any fashion, then they have NOT sent any.

If your house is up to scratch and you want to move in, then fine but why should you bear the costs of their poor admin!!! Simple tell them you want this cost covered or you will not finalise when they stated as they have failed to comply with the Consumer Code for Home Builders.

They won't pull the plug as they have invested alot time and energy securing this sale. After all it is a guaranteed sale at the end of the day.

Your solicitor should know if they can legal pull out or not if you don't complete in the said time frame. Have you asked this question?

If the answer is yes they can, then my advice would be complete and go for compensation through the resolution scheme. But I would be wanting rent and holiday costs as well as £250 quid for wasting your time!

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2016, 07:02:41 am »
So we all now know it is Crest Nicholson!
Why are you afraid to state name the housebuilder?

I agree, saying you were sent a letter and proving they sent it are different matter.
In any case unless the required notice is given you cannot legally complete, whatever Crest demand, especially as you are using Help to Buy!
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indyjukebox

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2016, 02:47:38 pm »
Oh, I am not afraid to name anyone.
At the moment it is a bit up in the air as we have had this letter suggesting completion, but no real demand or formal notice yet. Our solicitors seem very clued-up and on our side (as they should be). So I am confident that I will not be pushed into anything that I am not happy with.

Your advice is very helpful and confirms what I thought was an unreasonable time scale (if it came to fruition). I will happily name and shame if this becomes a problem. On the other hand, if it is simply a letter sent in error, then I am willing to accept that everyone makes a mistake once in a while.

anthyboy; no neither of us were informed until this odd update letter with a improbable completion date popped up. We only know now that the build is progressing well, as we popped down to have a look at the site after receiving the letter .



indyjukebox

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2016, 12:46:29 am »
This has been resolved quite well by Crest; with us agreeing to complete a week before what we thought would be the actual completion date. And they have let Tim snag the house next week as well.

Quick separate question. Whilst looking at home insurance quotes, is there any benefit in emergency cover? I would presume that most things would be covered by the warranty?


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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2016, 06:33:16 am »
You would be surprised how little is covered by the warranty and how often housebuilders tell buyers to claim for contents, damaged by plumbing leaks for example, on their home insurance.
Broken windows, paint on carpets when redecorating, buy the best cover you can afford.

Now I will let you know that MoreThan is good value I have everything covered for under £300 with legal fees protection and accidental everything.
As for emergency cover, for toe years the housebuilder should cover plumbing and electrical emergencies, but what do you do when the number they give you just rings and rings out of hours?
And emergency cover will also be for securing the home after a break in and changing locks etc.
You can get cheaper but not as good cover, the choice is yours.
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anthyboy

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2016, 07:49:59 am »
I went for MoreThan as well for my insurance.
Best to do all the comparisons sites and see what comes come up, but I would go for a Defaqto level 5 one, plus add any extra cover you want. Then once you have the insurance you want, look on a site call TopCashback and you could save between £50 - £100, I have used this site for 4 years or so and I am up to £1,600 savings in cash back.
You also be surprised what else you can get cash back on as well! Take a look I promise you will like it.

indyjukebox

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2016, 03:54:53 pm »
Thanks for your advice.
Also, is legal cover useful at all?
Or is it one of those things that is never used unless the chance of winning is greater than 50%.

anthyboy

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2016, 07:00:16 pm »
They are like any lawyer,  you must have a reasonable chance of winning.

It is useful as it will usually give you access to free advice and most cover up to £50,000 in legal costs if you choose to go to court over any particular thing.

Also useful when dealing with new build house builder, as I have threatened them will it by stating I have legal cover and will exhaust it all as it won't cost me a penny extra to use it.

BobTB

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Re: Completion date change
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2016, 08:33:53 am »
You are spot on.
You need to have a greater than 50% chance of winning and not just from the outset.
If at any time during the legal action the chances of success, as judged by your appointed solicitor, fall below 50% the case will be dropped. You will then be asked by the same solicitor if you want to pay them to continue!

I started an employment case and DAS (my home insurance legal cover) referred my initial brief summary of the case facts to a solicitor firm in London.  There it was given to a junior solicitor, who did his level best to talk down my claim.  He did not want me to send the detailed evidence I had which included three CDs of recorded meetings with my then employer. All he did was talk to me over the phone and I could tell straight away that there was no long term commitment from him to take the case forward let alone trey and win it.

Having said that, I have always had Legal Expenses insurance. It is £24 a year extra.
I think this is worthwhile, if just for having a legal expert at the end of the phone to answer questions and give advice. 
As you are buying a new home, it could be very useful to you. As Anthyboy says, just telling them you have it usually helps!

Insurance cover is not something to scrimp on.
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