Homeowners who spent their savings buying newly-built homes discovered their houses are ‘worthless’ after moving in.
The story takes place in Bradford, England, where a series of couples and families have been left devastated after realizing their newly-built houses have zero market value.
As the homeowners were told, their $200,000+ homes, which were built by developer Sherwood Homes, do not meet building regulations because they were built on the land next to the site of a former landfill without a gas membrane that would protect the homes from nearby methane emissions in place.
According to the officials, the houses in the area’s proximity have a market value of $0 because of toxic methane gas that is still being emitted from the former landfill.
To make the matter worse for the new homeowners, the company behind the development of the Bradford homes in question has gone into administration before finishing their job.
“I’m in £150,000 [$195,000] worth of debt to my mortgage provider and I’m paying for a house that’s worth nothing at all,” 27-year-old Adeel Azfal, who bought a $228k property together with his partner, said in an interview with BBC.
The family’s story came to light after appearing on BBC One’s ‘Rip Off Britain’. As explained in the show, homeowners of thirteen properties located at the site are facing the same problems.
“We’re a young family. My partner doesn’t work so we are tied into what we thought would be our forever home. When we realized it was worth nothing at all, it was a big shock,” Mr. Azfal added.
As another homeowner, Chris Oliver, explained, their property “has currently got a value of £0” according to the valuation report they received after their property was remortgaged.
“Our hearts sank. We just thought, what are we going to do? There’s been so many people who we should have been able to trust and rely on and no one wants to help,” Oliver said.
“We tried to contact Sherwood Homes. There was no reply. They stopped answering phone calls and emails. We were just in a state of panic.”
While the conveyancing solicitors behind the housing solution have denied negligence, they have reportedly agreed to offer assistance in finalizing the project.
Meanwhile, the local council has confirmed they are “supporting residents with guidance and advice.”
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