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Found 14 results

  1. Hi All, Need a little advice as to where i stand and how to proceed. Myself and my partner moved into a new flat in July 2018 where the car park is managed by these clowns. We are one of about 10 who are fortunate enough to have a very big parking space where two cars can be parked back to back. We questioned this in the viewing and was told this was acceptable. The issues with countrywide parking started about a month after we moved in where we got a ticket on one of our cars for being parked incorrectly. This was appealed and of course, lost. It was then appealed to IAS and of course, lost. Since then we have taken the advice on here and i'm hoping that the letter received yesterday from BW legal titled Letter before claim is now the last from these cowboys The main issue i have is that since then, we have received multiple tickets on our vehicles (about 5 i believe) for the reason of "double parking". Thankfully, i have a copy of a letter from these cowboys that was sent to all residents before we moved in specifically highlighting that double parking was allowed in these spaces. This was thrown back at them during one of the appeals and yesterday we have received the appeal rejection saying that the block management have changed their mind, only single vehicles can now park in these spaces and that my appeal has been rejected on this matter (first i knew of this change of ruling). Firstly, where do i stand with appealing these and going forwards? One of the main reasons we moved in here was because it had the benefit of space to park two vehicles. There is no road parking around here that isn't charged so thats not really an option. I don't want to keep getting these PCNs. i know that CPM have never taken someone to court but i do not want to end up in a situation where they take us to court to make an example seeing as we will probably have a substantial amount of these by the time our lease is up! As expected, the appeal responses from them are pathetic, don't actually address the points i'm making and are going against their own signage and terms but i'm now starting to use a substantial amount of time dealing with these and whilst i'm taking great pleasure in wasting their time and money, id rather not have to!
  2. Hi all, Starting a thread for my new claim for my very old mortgage insurance claim with Countrywide Assured. Having looked around the site I see they are resistant to paying out, especially old claims. They tend to claim it's too old, not covered by regulation and the FOS can't touch them. Nice. Luckily I have old bank statements and tracked down all the monthly payments to the policies. Going to send a SAR tomorrow to see if they have any information on my accounts.
  3. Stepson parked in a visitor's space in a private development whilst staying overnight with a mate, has received a parking charge notice for not displaying a permit. No notice to keeper yet, and I've asked him to go back and take photos of the signs. Can't find anything about this company through forum search or reading through thread titles, they're IPC so I can guess an appeal will be pointless. Mostly what I need to know is if they do court?
  4. I received a letter from Spark Energy yesterday, addressed to 'The Occupier', welcoming me to them as my new supplier. Goes on to say that "As instructed by your letting agent on your behalf, we've been appointed as the gas and electricity supplier to your property". But I don't have a letting agent/landlord, I own the property! I was the tenant, but I bought it from the landlord two months ago. My landlord used a local letting agency, and during our tenancy they've been taken over by Countrywide. It's obvious what has happened - Countrywide have an agreement with Spark to refer as many tenanted properties to them as possible, they are clearly getting kickbacks/commission from doing so. When they processed my tenancy agreement they have done the (allegedy automated) process of requesting Spark to take over the gas and electricity supplies. But they should never have done this, they had no right to. My tenancy ended on the day my purchase of the property completed. They were no longer acting for the landlord, since there was no longer a landlord. This is the first I've heard about any change to my supplier, and the electricity changed over to them 4 days ago, gas due to next week! If they'd contacted my (or 'the occupier') beforehand, I could have told them to do one and stopped this from happening. Obviously it's Countrywide that's initiated this mess, but I find it shocking that Spark are just blindly taking instructions from Countrywide to acquire supplies without bothering to attempt to make contact with the occupier until after the switch has been completed. Is this allowed, seems like sharp practise to me? I phoned Spark first of all, who confirmed that it was Countrywide behind it. I told them they had no right to perform a switch without my consent, and Countrywide had no authority to request it. I asked them to reverse the switch immediately and put me back with my previous supplier. Initially I was told they couldn't do that, and I should go through the normal switching process again to change back! Told them that wasn't good enough - I've not entered contract with Spark, it'll take weeks to switch back, I'll be on an uncompetitive tariff with Spark in the meantime. And the (exceptionally good) tariff I was on with my previous supplier is no longer available to new customers. After a bit or denial and erring, they finally accepted that they could attempt to reverse the switch under the erroneous transfer correction procedure, which I instructed them to do asap. Although they said that it was conditional on my previous supplier agreeing to reinstate my contract with them. I then spoke to my existing supplier (GB Energy), who were very helpful. They immediately understood the problem and said that they could also initiate the erroneous switch reversal from their side, and it would probably be quicker. So hopefully it will get resolved and I'll be put back to where I was with GB Energy before this fiasco. But it sounds like it could take a while to resolve. I then called my old letting agent to bring the problem to their attention and get them to escalate it within Countrywide (in the hope of them improving their procedures if nothing else). Letting agent was very blase about it, "just standard practice, nothing we can do, no point in me even raising it". They used to be a really good local letting agent, always had a good relationship with them in the past. Then Countrywide took them over, the staff are the same, but the service has turned to rubbish. So, who has done this, is it just Countrywide, or are Spark partly to blame accepting an unauthorised switch? I guess the regulator can't touch Countrywide? Even if I get put back to where I was, I'm not happy that this mess has ever been allowed to occur, and I intend to kick up as much stink as possible.
  5. Dear forum members, Countrywide have issued a court claim over a service charge arrears, legal fees and admin costs. I’m a leaseholder (over 14 years) in one of three block development and the property is managed by residents company who have hired Countrywide to manage the property. They manage properties so badly that and estate agent has recommended my friend not to buy in the development. I have refused to pay the service charge as the management company in in breach of lease and Countywide is in breach of its management obligations, in particular: 1. According to the lease Windows should be painted once every 3 years however they have not been painted for over 11 years, resulting in wood being rotten and irreparable. 2. The development had no freeholder since 1990 when the original freeholder went into administration (final dissolution 2010) and according to law, if the freeholders name is not on the service charge demand the bill is not payable, but in past they have charged several times for admin and legal fees in excess of 10K. When they tried to collect it from me last year, I told their solicitors, that there is no freeholder and they stopped sending me demands. I have an email from a director to countrywide saying that the freehold is sorted and now they can collect the service charge from me. 3. They are constantly ignoring my reports of problems. - The gutter of the roof is blocked and the escaping rainwater damaged the porch which is in verge of collapse due to rotting. ] - The rear big communal light is not working for a year (despite three repair bills for the same light when it was working) 4. Excessive and unjustified expenses such as: - During last year on light bulb replacements in communal areas alone Countrywide has spent £1,100 (there are not more than 45 communal lights) Buildings insurance has risen to £9,800 while quotes have been obtained for as low as £2,800 - In 2011 £4,500 has been paid to chartered surveyors for holding a tender to paint the windows (quote obtained was £70,000 for 40 apartments ) . Unnecessary expenses such as repeating Asbestos inspection, Out of Hours premiums, secretarial fees etc… - Overly expensive general repair bills. 5. Excessive management fees (I have obtained quotes from 3 different companies with the lowest quote of £40 They have taken the service charge from me in past by the following means County court 8 years ago (admitted and paid hence not disputed now) Four times added to the mortgage County court recent tried to defend but court was in another city and I could not attend nor transfer it to my city. My question is, can I claim back the following charges going back 5 (if not 5 then how many) years and what are my chances in leasehold tribunal. All administrative charges imposed by Countywide on me All legal charges including past court fees All charges from mortgage company for adding arrears to the mortgage 50% of service charge + 8% interest Any additional advice would be much appreciated.
  6. Hi, my mum is buying a property (effectively in cash) using money from family members. large bulk of money has been transferred from her cousin who is 89 yrs old. Countrywide have had the building society account book to show her savings but then they said it wasn't old enough and needed to go back a few years and we've done this. then they said they wanted a letter stating the income and job of the cousin from when she started working as well as an account of her lifestyle to prove how she's accumulated her savings and we provided this but now this isn't good enough either, they now want details of the earnings of her dead husband (who died last year at aged 97)! We understand about the money laundering aspect but this is becoming increasingly ridiculous - even the tax man doesn't keep records going back that far! We've said we'll change solicitors but then countrywide sayif we do that we just have to start from scratch and we're supposed to be completing on 12th December. Bank statements from other members of the family have been accepted. has anyone got any advice, thanks. the sum involved from the cousin is £130,000 and will be a short term loan.
  7. I have a sorry saga to tell about a relationship between some leaseholders & “Countrywide property management” It will be interesting to hear if any members here have also been victims of these people. There have been many issues in the 20+ years we’ve had to endure their “services” but I will start with the most profound that is coming to its culmination. We had an elderly gentleman with us who owned his basement flat in our converted Victorian building. He had not lived here long till he started to complain of water ingress into his dwelling from above & below. He took up these problems (along with some other minor issues) with the management agent, “Countrywide.” As I was involved in the building industry he asked me to take a look. There appeared to be rising damp in a few places, but the most notable problem was water ingress from above in his hallway around a soil stack casing. The ceiling & plasterboard casing were soaked through & the floor was damp. He had no success in getting “Countrywide” to embrace this problem & was becoming desperate. I advised that there was no point in repairing the ceiling & replacing the floor covering until the water leak was repaired. This went on for several years until he refused to pay the “maintenance” charges until “Countrywide” remedied the issues his dwelling had, which they never did. He was taken to county court & was evicted from the flat. Not sure how the system works, but the flat ended up in the hands of the freeholder. Building work commenced & eventually the flat was put on the market & sold. The new lessee moved in, & soon afterwards he noticed water ingress as had been noted by the previous lessee. Eventually, after much correspondence “Countrywide” sent their contractors to survey the problems in the dwelling in September 2013. At this time it was also pointed out that there was a guttering leak that was forming a pool of water by the window at the back of the dwelling causing a serious damp problem inside. Also pointed out, at the front window there was a leak through the ceiling which was clearly coming from the sill above. The flat is not fit to live in. The new lessees are squeezed into one room with their belongings as everything is suffering with the damp. “Countrywide” have had several requests for clarity as to the findings of the surveys, but sadly as of 12/1/2014 the information has not been forthcoming to the new lessee or other lessees including myself, & the redial guttering/sill problems mentioned have not yet been rectified. All the lessees are now expected to pay for the damp proofing works. I will post more of Countrywides inadequacies later; their accounting systems failure is another story altogether.
  8. Hi, If you are considering renting from a letting agency for the first time then please read my story. Initially it was just going to be a simple post on a forum but the never ending chain of problems I experienced with both Austin & Wyatt and Countrywide resulted in such a mountain of material which I did not want to go to waste so I wrote an entire website. I hope it will save you some trouble or at least prep you for what's ahead. Prevention is better, cheaper and less time consuming than cure especially when you are inexperienced in dealing with such matters. [unauthorised link information removed for checking]
  9. Hi all, Thought I would share with you my current battle with the lovely Countrywide Assured! Well I will cut a long story short.................... Back in 2000 I needed a mortgage offer urgently as going to auction for the house i was renting. I had never had a mortgage before, and the advisor told me that there was a new and exciting product on the market called a half endowment/half repayment. I trusted the salesman and signed all paperwork. 18 months down the line I realised my critical error and swaped over to all repayment and cancelled all of my dealings with Countrywide Assured. I did try to get my money back at the time, but was advised that as i had paid less than 2 years i had no chance (paid 18 months). Now then, years down the line and seeing various tv programmes i decided to complain. After a bit of to and froing they did uphold my complaint about the mis selling of the endowment part and i snatched their cheque for that. However they did not uphold my complaint about the mis selling of the lifetime protection plan that ran alongside. Financial Service Ombudsman says he upholds my complaint as the product over ran my mortgage term by 6 years!!!!!!......... But Countrywide must have a novice in the office.....Listen to the response...... "I feel that a critical illness benefit amount above the mortgage amount would have been suitable for the client at the point of sale. Beyond the repayment of her mortgage, had she been diagnosed with a serious illness, she may have had to give up work, have her house adapted or required a carer's assistance and would need funds to assist her.!!!!!!! REALLY................................... Well this has now been refered up to the main Ombusman....Lets see now??? Your comments plese
  10. I've just had a lengthy but sucessful battle with Countrywide Estate Agents, whereby I have extracted around £500 back from the greedy useless (rude word). The process was enlightening, they don't understand the code of practice to which they are bound by and a breach of the code = a clear cut ability to claim. (Code of Practice - to which Countrywide and most big estate agents are bound through their membership with the Property Ombudsman). I am not familiar with this forum, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere useful to stick my story. I hate estate agents and think they are useless and overcharge for everything and want others to use the process to ensure they do not put up with it either...
  11. Ok, first I'm not really back, just doing Lex a favour as he's swamped (well, he said hammered, but I think he meant swamped, lol) so put the pitchforks away! Second, THIS is far too important not to spread around, but I have no idea where it should go, so "Rural communities" it is for now, mods feel free to move elsewhere if required. I cannot stress enough the importance of the Coastguards. As I read elsewhere, they are the 4th emergency service and this is so reckless it takes my breath away. If you live near the sea (and in the UK, none of us are very far from a coast!) then this concerns you too. Bookie
  12. In June 2011 Countrywide Residential Lettings (trading as Gascoigne-Pees) were asked to provide me with all information relating to the property they were managing on behalf of my Landlord. The request was a Subject Access Request under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act. They ignored my request until I sent a formal reminder to the manager, and asked for a £50 admin fee, the law only allowed £10 and I responded that I will pay the £10 asking for instruction how to pay it. After a month I had not heard back and took the complaint up with a manager. Eventually the file was given to me, outside the statutory time limit. Having checked through the file it was incomplete, relevant details had been marked out with black pen. I complained formally to the Information Commissioner's Office. The ICO responded to me in writing, and their finding was that Countrywide was unlikely to have complied with the Data Protection Act, it was also their belief that the company is unlikely to comply in the future and that guidance had been given to the company. In November 2011 I sent a letter to Countrywide, stating that I request compensation of £250 for the failure to comply with the Data Protection Act. The company chose to ignore this letter. In December 2011 a claim was issued in Northampton County Court, and in January 2012 Countrywide has been in contact with an offer of out of court settlement for £225. This offer has been accepted.
  13. Hi I have 7 payday loans with Wageday Advance Text Loans CountryWide MiniCredit Wonga Payday UK Payday Express I have been rolling over loans for months and am not able to keep up any more. I bank with Santander and went to them yesterday to close my bank account and open a new one with them. After reading some of the forums I wonder can these companies raid my new account? Also, I have account details for all of them apart from MiniCredit and Countrywide. Does anyone know the details of either of these? I should have known Countrywide would be slippery after I applied with them and they wanted to know my telephone banking passwords for Santander! I just told them to call me later as I did not want to give these out and then they processed my loan anyway! Is there a template e mail to contact these companies to default? They are all due to be repaid on 27th July and now I am panicking if I am doing the right thing
  14. Well, there's an interesting one, and when I say interesting... Water supplied by Thames Water, whose aggressive tactics I have commented on before (sending a "final warning" letter after paying late on ONE instalment for the 1st time in donkeys' years) Hands up, I messed up. I forgot to reinstate my standing order for the new billing year, then it went out of my head and of course by them I was playing catch-up. Fair enough. Anyway, I lost my "right" to pay by instalments and they wanted the whole balance. Yeah, cos if I can't pay by instalments, I'll be able to pay it all at once, right? Long story short, last month, I paid them £200, which didn't quite catch up with the arrears, and the idea was to pay them double bubble until I'm caught up, in time for when their payment scheme ends (it's done over 8 mths). Enters Countrywide debt collections, asking to speak to Mr Bookie. Chap with strong Asian accent, to the point I had to ask him the name of the company 5 times (couldn't work out if he was a DCA or an IVA cold caller to start with , lol). Since I was there, and not in too great a mood, and misery loves company, I thought now was a good time to ask a few questions. Well.... He ABSOLUTELY refused to tell me whether they were acting on behalf of TW or whether they'd bought the debt for pennies (which alone gives me my answer, lol). Repeatedly asked for Mr BW to call them back on an 0870 number (tsk tsk). etc, etc... So I'm a bit intrigued. Someone (Dave, in fact) said to me not long ago that having water being a basic human right means that they can't cut you off and so that they have little power in the way of collecting monies. I was a bit dubious, but the above behaviour does make me wonder. Why would TW flog a "live", as it were, debt? Why not pursue through a normal arrears dept like everybody else? Ideas, comments all welcome.
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