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Author Topic: View on fee/compensation for amending legal title that would add to my liability  (Read 4568 times)

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I recently purchased a new-build property, and I have encountered a situation that I could use some advice on. The property is subject to an annual maintenance/estate charge, and here's where the issue lies.

When I signed the transfer title documentation, it was clearly stated that the main road on the development would be put up for adoption by the local council. However, since then, the developer has changed their plans, and now they want the main road to be part of the estate charge.

Naturally, I was concerned about this unexpected change, especially given that the original paperwork clearly indicated that the main road did not form part of the charge, and therefore, I believed I was not liable for it. In response to my queries, the developer has suggested amending the legal documents to "correct" this perceived error. They've also agreed to cover all legal fees associated with making this amendment, which is appropriate.

My question is, what kind of compensation or fee should I request from the developer for agreeing to this change? By accepting this correction, I will now be liable for an additional charge for the road each year. Initially, I thought it might be fair to ask them to cover the additional amount I'll be paying for the road for the entire time I own the house.

However, after discussing this with a friend, they suggested that I should consider asking for more. They proposed requesting a fee in exchange for entering into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The reason for this is that I suspect other residents in our development might be facing the same issue, but they may not be aware of it yet.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this matter. What do you think is a reasonable compensation for this unexpected change, and should I indeed ask for an NDA as a part of the deal and at what cost? Your input and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

New Home Expert

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Wow, by far the most interesting post on this forum for a long while.

You have the added protection such as it is of the New Homes Ombudsman Service .  You will need to go through the builder's complaints procedure first with, I suspect, many steps to take.

Please name the housebuilder.

It is crystal clear (a slam dunk) that you have been mis-sold. It can never be argued otherwise and the housebuilder wants it kept quiet hence the disclosure agreement condition.

Question is:
Could the estate roads ever be transferred to the local authority now?  Were they inspected by LA highways during construction? Do they even meet the Section 38 Agreement standards?

I suspect the builder abandoned the Section 38 Agreement because the LA would never adopt the estate roads.

So you and other early buyers, have clearly been mis-sold and should not have to pay these estate charges at all.
Obviously, these charges will increase over time, so any amount of "compensation" would not guarantee you would not be out of pocket in the long term.
You need to employ a solicitor to act for you in your interests. DO NOT use the builder's solicitor or any firm recommended of suggested by them.

You may be able to have the Title Deeds changed so that it is written in that you and subsequent owners (your house is now worth less than one with adopted estate roads due to the ongoing cost) are not required to pay the management costs.
Quite what would happen if the builder ceased trading I'm not sure - why you need a solicitor.

If, and its a big if, the estate roads could be adopted by the LA, then the more buyers that have been mis-sold make a claim the more pressure it would put on the house builder.  Again your solicitor may wish to make a class action against the builder.

As a minimum I would suggest you would need ten years estate fees rising by 15% per year to ensure you are covered.

It is high time this estate management fees rip off aka "Fleecehold" was ended.

Please also write to your MP and Michael Gove.

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.

Tim Fee Snagging Inspector


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Thanks very much for your reply.  As you suggested, I've gone ahead and sought some legal advice.  I'll provide all the details as requested in due course.