Author Topic: New home internal layout/floor plan change  (Read 3687 times)

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New home internal layout/floor plan change
« on: December 18, 2016, 01:32:18 am »
We reserved a new build property 4 months ago and contracts were exchanged around 3 months ago.
From the beginning to up until today, we had a layout/floor plan of our first home in mind with the help of every bit of documentation that the builder supplied to us including:

a) Floor plan in builder's advert
b) Builder's brochure which included the layout
c) Detailed floor plan issued after blocking the property
d) Site layout especially the layout of the lounge and kitchen
e) Copy of construction issue plan supplied to us

Though aforementioned first two points helped us to make our mind on new house, we were aware of some acceptable/marginal changes at the end. But the srl c), d), and e) were supplied to us between blocking the property and contract exchange.

In addition, based on the communication (email/phone) we had since blocking the property, builder agreed to inform us every stage of development or any degree of changes. This agreement was also mentioned in their code of conduct to buyers (which they mailed around 4-5 weeks ago).

Now, as far as we are aware, there was:
a) No change in regulation and/or a proposal for re-planning the layout on that site.
b) No update was received from builder on any property layout/regulation/re-planning/floor plan change.

In a nutshell, following are what we witnessed when we visited the property just before plaster (this is the very first time they allowed us to view the property and it's progress).

On the ground floor:
a) We could see lounge where we were expecting kitchen
b) Stair to first floor where we were expecting WC
c) Exit door from kitchen where we expect exit from lounge to garden
d) We could see windows where we expect brick wall
e) The exit door from the lounge to garden is uneven

On the first floor:
a) We could see a bedroom where we expected an ensuite master bedroom.
b) The position of bathroom on the first floor completely at wrong side
c) The location and direction of wardrobes in both bedrooms first floor are positioned wrongly.

We could find more structural differences, but we are literally lost and heartbroken.

We are first time buyers and not sure how to approach this issue.
a) What are the legal implications we might face if we don't continue to proceed with this buying?
b) We paid close to £25,000 including the deposit (this is Help to Buy scheme supported)
c) What are the implications we might face in future if we decided to proceed with this buying ? Such as planning related, mortgage or  remortgage related or selling perspective ?

Very sorry if I have missed any vital informations. Though the builder I  mentioned here is top 5 in UK, I didn't mention their name since they are yet to respond my email.

Every bit of information you write on this thread is very much valuable to me.

Thanks in advance.

New Home Expert

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Re: New home internal layout/floor plan change
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2016, 08:35:25 am »
From what you have said, I would imagine you thought you were buying one house type and ended up being sold a different one as so many changes appear to have been made.

As you have already exchanged contracts you could lose your £25,000 if you do not now proceed.
The Consumer Code for Home Builders. requirement 3.3 does state:
3.3 Requirement: The Home Buyer must be told about their right to terminate  the contract. 
Guidance You should tell the Home Buyer about when they have the right to end the contract.   
The Home Buyer may serve notice to end the contract if there is:
  • a substantial and significant change to the Home that the Home Buyer has not agreed to (see 3.1 above);
  • unreasonable delay in finishing the construction of the Home and serving the notice to complete

The one thing you must do is to instruct your solicitor in writing not to proceed with the legal completion until this matter if fully resolved.

Hopefully you have not used the builder's recommended or choice of solicitor!

Clearly there has been a misunderstanding but presumably you bought a particular Plot Number and that was the same Plot number you have exchanged contracts on.
The information you have been given is quite good to. It is hard to believe all of this has been changed since you bought.

Can I suggest that the house you were "allowed" to look at was not the one you are buying.  It could well be, especially at this time of year (housebuilders' end of year figures rush) that your particular home is so far away from being finished at that time they switched the plot numbers on the houses and you looked at the wrong house?

Finally, whilst you have not named the housebuilder, I would guess it is almost certainly Persimmon Homes!
If I am right, you will have a long wait for them to reply to your email!

You need to be aware of the Consumer Code for Home Builders.
It sounds like you were given a copy. If so it is a requirement of the Code (3.1) that you are informed of any changes.
3.1 (b) "After Contract Exchange, if there is a change to the design, construction or materials to be used in the Home that would significantly and substantially alter its size, appearance or value, you should formally consult the Home Buyer and get their agreement.   
Before Legal Completion, the Home Buyer has the right to end the contract and get their deposit and Reservation fee back without deductions if these significant and substantial changes are unacceptable to the Home Owner, acting reasonably.  You should tell them of this right and the specific circumstances when they could exercise it.  (See 3.3 below)."

Finally, please do not post the same post in different categories on this forum!
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