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Saturday 2 August 2014 1.29pm
I spoke to Notting Hill before the delay to the end of September was announced and they said that they would not be able to offer compensation. My mortgage extension is going to cost me 70. I expect there will be other fees from somewhere.

This is really bad. I have seen the site and it's barely moved on since Easter.

Is anyone else thinking of demanding compensation? In our terms, it says a 'summer' move-in date. Well you're hard pushed to call end of September summer.
Saturday 2 August 2014 1.33pm
And as James Hunt says, what about those of us who'd handed in our notice to move, on the expectation it'd be some time at the end of August, who are now left in limbo. Luckily I have been able to rescind my notice, but if I hadn't then I would have been left looking for somewhere to live for a month.

James - are you saying that come October they can revalue it and request us to pay a higher price? If so, then you're not scaremongering at all - it sounds plausible.

In which case I'm going to be priced out. The amount it's increased in value since November is probably 25%.
Saturday 2 August 2014 3.04pm
I will start believe we are near completion when private flats and Sainsbury will be ready...

In order to renew my mortgage offer I had to do a new valuation and I have received the same estimation. James, on the base of what you are saying they can revaluate the property?
I don't think that would be a clever move from the HA. If you check in this forum you will see that 6 months delay are pretty normal. The only problem I can see if we get further delayed is obtain another extension of the mortgage, which will be very unlikely and will impact the credit score.

I think it is time to raise our voices and demand face to face meetings with the HA, requesting a detailed plan and status update which says more than 'sorry we are late'.
Sunday 3 August 2014 11.06am
Hi all,

What I am saying is this:

My understanding of our contracts is that there is a 'longstop' date at which both parties can cancel the contract without financial penalties.

This is (I need to check) either 1 or 30 November 2014. At that point, NHHG could void all of our contracts, re-advertise the flats, and re-sell them.

My assumption is that they would re-sell for a higher value, given what property prices have done since the original valuation date of mid 2013.

TDG1982 - they would have no obligation to sell them to us. In fact, I would be priced out of mine!

Victor75 - completely agree, not a clever move for them. The PR would be bad, but if every flat goes up in value by 25%, would that be worth the hassle of re-selling and some bad press?

Personally, I think they are (possibly incompetent) and certainly inconsiderate, but not malicious. To hang us out for the longstop date would be deceitful and malicious - I just don't get that sense (yet).

Re mortgages. Very jealous - my new one (Nationwide) cost c. 450 as I had to do the whole thing again! Ouch.

Re compensation. Agree, but think it's extremely unlikely. Their refusal to allow edits to any of the clauses in the lease was partly to minimise their work, but also so they firmly had all of us over a barrel.

If there was a group letter etc I would sign, but I just don't think they give two hoots.
Sunday 3 August 2014 1.44pm
JamesHunt wrote:

My assumption is that they would re-sell for a higher value, given what property prices have done since the original valuation date of mid 2013.

TDG1982 - they would have no obligation to sell them to us. In fact, I would be priced out of mine!


Sadly this has an echo of the last property boom. A friend was buying a new build flat in 2000/2001, progress was delayed but to rub salt into the wound the developer upped the price by about 20k shortly before exchange of contracts was due. Any fool can make money in a rising market, and they put additional pressure on by claiming they had 'a long list of potential buyers' ready to step in. The developer was a very small outfit compared to NHHG, exploiting a perfectly legal but unscrupulous strategy to maximise their profits.

I'm not suggesting NHHG will do the same thing, but from what you all say I doubt they will give a moments thought to anyone who has to bail out of a purchase.
Sunday 3 August 2014 5.30pm
As someone said, it's completely unacceptable for us to have been told about this latest delay with such short notice - we'd personally been assured as recently as 2 weeks ago that we'd be moved in by the end of August.

The endless delays are totally frustrating, but reading about the possibility of the 'long stop' clause makes me feel a bit sick! Surely they could not do that??

The flats were meant to be ready originally in the spring so surely this has to be the last delay. I've been to check on the development many times over the last few months and I disagree that they've barely come on since spring - in fact the interior of the flats look almost ready and it does look like its outside work and the balconies that need finishing up. One of the other blocks is even being occupied (block E I think) so I'm not counting on the whole development to be finished before we can move in (ie the sainsburys being ready).

The fact is they are losing money with these delays so they want them to be finished as soon as possible, and I think they know they couldn't get away with pricing out their current customers who have been waiting for months & months, it is a government backed scheme after all.

I do agree that demanding some kind of face to face consultation with them where they can honestly update us on the progress would be good at this stage.
Monday 4 August 2014 12.57pm
We've spoken to NHHA today - to voice the disappointment we have with the substantial delay. They got back to us very quickly, but haven't shared any more information, as I kind of expected;

"The development team are pretty confident we should be in position to take handover in September now that we have taken possession of Block C. This date is not guaranteed."

Personally, I believe United House Group (the company actually building the development) are the ones we really want to hear from - as it's their delays to the build (not Notting Hill's) that are stopping us all from moving in! We've yet to reply to NHHA's response, but I would like to ask for a full update from them (either in person or writing), that gives us some kind of hope that they are making all the effort they can to get us into our homes as soon as possible!

I don't like to complain, but the way we are all being treated really is unacceptable!!
Monday 4 August 2014 2.16pm
I have no stake in the Exchange scheme I just live local to Grange Walk and reading this Forum listing you all have my full sympathy for the current situation.

I do not know if this advice has any value but if you are all individually worried and the situation does not improve in the next month or so and you feel fobbed off, I would respectfully suggest that you work as a group. I would be setting up a meeting in a local cafe/pub to introduce yourselves and pay a site visit to jointly assess progress on site and to take photos. I would then be jointly drafting a letter(enclosing copies of the photos) signed by everyone to request a site meeting in the Grange Walk site huts with the housing association regional director and the Union House project director and site manager. You need both parties to be present. If possible I would copy the letter to a sympathetic solicitor identified to represent you all as a group to show the HA and Union House that you mean business.
If this goes poorly and you are not satisfied as to the reassurance/ time frame given I would be writing to Simon Hughes to seek his help ( as he will need your votes next May 2015) local ward councillors and Mayor of London. Notting Hill and Union House will not want any adverse publicity because they will want to secure the opportunity to develop other sites in Southwark / Inner London involving public sector subsidy.
If things continue badly I would go to the local paper Southwark News and to London Evening Standard and BBC London.
You will be aware that a similar scenario recently arose on an HA scheme in Wandsworth- the individuals went to the media. I saw coverage on BBC London. May be worth researching.
Mellin
Monday 4 August 2014 7.39pm
Hi all,

How about this as a joint letter:

Dear Iram, Kate,

We are writing to express our frustration with continued delays to Block B at The Exchange, Bermondsey. Furthermore, the scant, vague and unreliable information provided belays a lack of consideration for our living arrangements, convenience and additional costs we are incurring. This seems completely counter to the values of Notting Hill Housing Group.

We therefore request an evening meeting, on site, with representatives of both Notting Hill Housing Group and United House group. At this meeting we would like to discuss the schedule for completion and handover, and agree upon a system of much more frequent and helpful updates. All prospective residents of Block B should be invited to this meeting.

As you know, the London property market is all over the media at the moment, and will be a hot issue at the upcoming general election too. I hope you can appreciate that a mutually satisfactory and timely resolution of this situation is in everyone's interest.

Yours sincerely,


Ideally we need as many names as possible.

(FYI Kate Davies is the Chief Exec. Her email is online).

Feel free to edit if you think it needs it, or is too strong/not strong enough etc?

I haven't mentioned legal options yet, partly because approaching a lawyer means we start incurring costs, and because it's always good to keep an option in the bag.

Who's in? The more, the more powerful....
Monday 4 August 2014 10.23pm
I'm in. I think that does the trick.

In terms of proof reading you meant 'betrays' rather than 'belays'?

I think what matters is we keep pressure on rather than the exact wording anyway.

I disagree with a previous poster that steady progress has been made - I have also been visiting the site regularly since New Year and there's been not all that much progress really in 8 months. Since Easter, it's appeared a couple of days' work has been completed. It's very frustrating to keep going back there every two weeks to find a plant has been planted, or an extra few bricks have been laid. They've had around 3 months to complete the interiors if they haven't already! The initial block was opened about 4 months ago.
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