Livid! Advice on Property Developers please

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Monday 30 April 2007 8.23pm
Let me set the scene for you-
I sell my flat- exchanging contracts next week. Completion looks like 1st June.
Husband and I have offer accepted on new build flat in Nunhead. The developer stipulates a 28 day exchange, and 1000 to show our commitment.
We do so- they cashed the cheque in the past few days. This is apparently unrefundable if we fail to exchange within 28 days or back out in the meantime.
We also pay for a survey on the property, get our mortgage sorted and instruct our solicitor.
A week or so later the solicitor still hasn't received draft papers, and the agent apologises and says they will be sent asap- new build will be signed off on 1st June. Hopefully we can move around then. 28 days doesn't start until papers received by our lawyer.

Fast forward a week, my parents decide that they would like to invest in a small 'pied a terre' in same area and spend a few days there each week- Dad works partly in London and partly from home out in the WEst COuntry. They like the idea of a base near us, as I am expecting their first grandchild.
Looking on the internet they find our new flat being marketed by a different agent than the one we went through and for a higher price.
We are livid, and hoping there is a reasonable explanation for this.
Is this legal? It certainly isn't ethical, and we face the prospect of them finding another buyer, being out of pocket and pregnant and homeless in a few weeks if this is the case!
I have emailed the agent we dealt with and asked if they know about this, plus copied in our solicitor, but would appreciate any advice.
Tuesday 1 May 2007 8.24am
Funny enough sarahmc, I was going to post this morning about the ethical side of buying off-plan and getting the 1000 deposit back!

My daughter viewed a George Wimpey House two weeks ago, nice reddish bricks, typical shoe box size rooms of new houses, but it would have been the future marital home and they were so excited. While they were on a weeks holiday they rep. phoned her up and my daughter pays 1000 on her card.

They returned on Saturday, went to view the house that had been started on only to find the houses were being built in hideous yellowish bricks. They took some photos of some completed houses nearby in the same developement also yellow bricks and saw that being terraced shared a porch over the front doors, then saw a revolting drain pipe dividing the front doors..

She said that had she seen them online like that she would never have even gone to look.
The point of this long winded waffle is can she claim her money back under trade descriptions?

Or has she just kissed 1000 of her hard earned money goodby?...Plus her little house in the midlands has not sold yet..:-( but she was so keen to have this lovely reddish brick house, I told her to wait until her house was sold at least she would not have that worry if it was not sold before she finally signed...i dunno..
Tuesday 1 May 2007 4.14pm
NAME AND SHAME.... it's the only way. Call the papers, Watchdog, the Ombudsman..the LOT. UGH these people, I could PUKE!
Tuesday 1 May 2007 6.09pm
I assume the trade body, the National House Builders Federation, http://www.hbf.co.uk/ may have a policy or know who you might complain to.

But suspect you are in the same boart as anyone who have been gazumped prior to exchange.
Tuesday 1 May 2007 6.42pm
Well I've just started a new job and am really busy, and mrsarahmc is working crazy hrs this week so I let my Dad who has lots of experience and sense deal with it.
The agent told him that they would ask Haart to take it off the website and they had told them to before. WRONG! The agent we saw it with is a different one to BOTH the others- and is a pretty obscure one I had never heard of before.
They said they would sort it out, and my solicitor said he has received draft papers this morning so our 28days to exchange start now.
The developers claimed to have never heard of the other agent and said they hadn't instructed them. Utter B*ll*cks. But what can you do. We now just want to exchange as quickly as possible.
Then I will be naming and shaming the unscrupulous, greedy developers who think it's acceptable to take people's money and then try and make a fast buck.
Friday 4 May 2007 8.27am
There's something very strange about my daughters house purchasing arrangements, when she informed them Linda the rep. was really nice and understanding, then has offered my daughter a far more expensive house with red bricks at only 3000 more..you don't get nothing for nothing in this world and I am bleeding suspicous...
Friday 4 May 2007 1.31pm
The brochure for ours promises off street parking and gas hobs.
Neither is true but the small print covers them......
The same will be true for your daughter, although I think the colour of the house is pretty fundamental and I'd pursue it with them.

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