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AVOID GEORGE WIMPEY HOMES - Here's why!


emandcole
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It's a long story but to condense it as far as possible my fiancee and I had worked and saved very hard to buy our first place - sacrificed just about everything to do it. Got an agreed mortgage amount and started looking for a home. Decided a new build offered us what we wanted and the incentives to buy with a developer were pretty good too. We reserved an off plan two bedroom flat, top floor of three in the Turners Development in Northampton. We had to wait around nine to twelve months for it to be finished so stayed put in our rented place. Left there with three months to go as didn't want to renew another 12 month lease so stayed with my parents in my old bedroom, our stuff all over the place in friends garages! Literally a week before we were due to exchange our solicitor, a friend fortunately, called to express serious concerns with the flat. In essence Wimpey had built around 5-10% of the block on land they had no legal right to. As such they were unable to obtain any form of Legal Title, a big big problem. :o

 

The solicitor advised future saleability would no doubt be questionable and many lenders would run at the thought of lending on the property meaning we could be stuck with a home no-one wanted. Wimpey offered us an indemnity policy to 'protect us' against any future claims/difficulties we may encounter. We of course wanted nothing to do with it arguing that they should never have pushed the boundaries of the development onto land they had no legal rights to. Is it too much to ask that a new home is built in the right place? Wimpey think we were asking too much and refused to compensate us for the lost legal/mortgage costs etc as we had no choice but to pull out of the sale. Avoiding the issue they stated that it was our choice to pull out of the sale so all costs were of our doing. Thanks very much George Wimpey. :mad:

 

As a result we nearly lost our chance to buy our first home as we were out of pocket by around £2000 and the market had risen another 5% or so meaning we had less chance to find something within a first time buyers price bracket. Do they care? Absolutely not. Our solicitor in over twenty years of conveyancing said he had never been offered a home, let alone a new one with no legal title whatsoever. Wimpey feel this is good practice though as you guys don't ever get to hear about their dirty little tricks.

 

Their philosophy? Another mug will buy it if you don't so sod off. Harsh but true people. The outfall? We spent in total 13 months living in my old bedroom, some of our belongings were ruined over the winter months as we couldn't put them anywhere else and we had to borrow the extra amount on a personal loan just to put ourselves back to the position we started off in, this of course involves more interest. So, if there's any unity amongst us as people and consumers I'd ask you all to stay away from this disgrace of a company and give your business to those developers who don't treat you as idiots. In the meantime I'll be setting up an embarassing campaign outside all of their new developments to let people know exactly what Wimpey Homes get up to in the shadows. We'll see who backs down first! Power to the consumers eh?! Thanks for reading this thread, appreciate any comments or similar experiences and please let others know about it so they can avoid a similar situation. :) Cole.

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WOW is it even legal to sell a house like that? Afterall, if they don't own part of the land that it's built on, they don't own part of the property?

 

Perhaps I'm over simplifying it! I'm sorry you had to go through all of that!

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Your solicitor is at fault here. Unless he agreed a contract with an extraordinary get out clause he should have been threatening to shove a writ so far up it tickled their tonsils. There is no way he should have let Wimpey off the hook. If they could not provide the title they promised you should have been fully compensated.

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Building houses in the wrong place is more common than folks realise. Depending on the details of this cock up, it is possible the flats could be torn down... (I have seen this happen!) however I am sure some sort of deal will be struck.

This is quite rediculous though... offering a home with no legal title. I have seen this sort of thing in Spain, you don't expect it here in the UK.

Are you taking some sort of legal action?

 

 

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Building houses in the wrong place is more common than folks realise. Depending on the details of this cock up, it is possible the flats could be torn down... (I have seen this happen!) however I am sure some sort of deal will be struck.

This is quite rediculous though... offering a home with no legal title. I have seen this sort of thing in Spain, you don't expect it here in the UK.

Are you taking some sort of legal action?

 

Not sure what type of legal action we could take if any! We had never actually exchanged as our solicitor smelt a rat and would not exchange when they wanted to! Hence we were not in a contract with them and the money we have lost is due to solicitors fee's and mortgage arrangement costs! Either way Wimpey should have compensated us, no contract so they do not feel we have the right to lost costs! Morally of course its very wrong!

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Well if you did not exchange contracts I take back what I said about your solicitor. It is of course correct that if there has not been an exchange of contracts there are no grounds for compensation.

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  • 1 year later...

Totally agree with the avoid George Wimpey homes advice. I recently purchased one and it's been a nightmare. Loads of problems and having to fight to get them resolved. I've put together a website about my problems for all to see (BewareOfWimpey.com) please have a look and let me know your comments

 

 

Cheers

 

Kevin - BewareOfWimpey.com

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Had a quick look at your site, seems pretty good but when is it gonna be fully operational??

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Hopefully within a week or 2, my neighbours are compiling there list and photos of problems to go on. I'm going to add in all the correspondence I have with Wimpey and NHBC then pretty much that's it. I'll probably be updating it every few weeks for the foreseeable future with updates of whats been done and any other issues I've found.

 

My aim is to reduce the number of people having the same problems as I'm having and hopefully (this is just wishful thinking) get wimpey to improve there standards of building and customer service

 

 

Thanks for the feedback

 

 

Cheers,

 

Kevin - BewareOfWimpey.com

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Coming from close to the industry (I occasionaly work for builders), they are all as bad as each other, wiothout exception. Sloppy building, underhand tactics, the lot. Thankfully the housing bubble has burst around here and my company has other work to get on with. And land disputes are more common than you think. I sometimes have to deal with them!

 

I personally wouldn't buy a house that's newer than about the 1960s. The majority of new builds have cardboard walls and you couldn't swing a mouse, let alone a cat. I don't see what the attraction is. I live in a virtually bombproof 1950's concrete house with a living room bigger than a new house (made by Wimpeys, when they were good! :lol:).

 

Good luck with getting something back from Wimpeys - tell your solicitor to kick them where it hurts!

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My belief is that you have a legal claim based on negligent misrepresentation.

 

I would hit them with a claim for your legal costs plus interest.

 

They shouldn't get away with these scams!

 

If your Solicitor disagrees find one who agrees!

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My belief is that you have a legal claim based on negligent misrepresentation.

 

I would hit them with a claim for your legal costs plus interest.

 

They shouldn't get away with these scams!

 

If your Solicitor disagrees find one who agrees!

 

Unfortunately there would only be an actionable misrep if he had been induced to enter into the contract as a result of it. They never exchanged so there is no claim.

A solicitor who did agree would be a wrong one.

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Unfortunately there would only be an actionable misrep if he had been induced to enter into the contract as a result of it. They never exchanged so there is no claim.

A solicitor who did agree would be a wrong one.

 

 

I'm not so sure your right. It was reasonable to expect that any information that would be extraordinary would be disclosed from the start. It was not and therefore they conducted negligent misrepresentation which caused their customer to lose funds. Actionable misrepresentation does not depend on a contract being signed, as long as a clear connection can be proven, that is sufficient. I've succeeded in claims like that before.

 

If the losses are provable and amounted to under £5k, I'd write GW a harsh letter by special delivery threatening legal action if they don't make an offer within 14 days - issue action. The most that could be lost - in my opinion - is court fees.

 

On the other hand, you may also have a claim [only deal with one, otherwise it would be double claiming and illegal] against the Solicitor you used for not uncovering the information at the start. You paid him to act on your behalf and he didn't. If you want to go this route, then write a letter detailing your complaint to the Solicitor, send it special delivery demanding a full response within 28 days or you will complain to the Legal Complaints Service. If you don't receive a satisfactory or any response within 28 days, complain to the LCS - LCS: Legal Complaints Service home [they say you have to give the firm 28 days to respond to your initial complaint].

 

Send all letters special delivery, keep copies of all letters sent and only send copies of documents received - keeping the originals.

 

My experience of the LCS is a lot better than that of the FOS, they seem to be a lot more competent than the FOS. I helped somebody make a complaint about a firm that had previously been dragged out by the firm and their professional indemnity insurers. It took 8 months till we could complain to the LCS and looked like there was no end in sight, but the LCS gave a satisfactory conclusion within 4 months - and it was a complex issue.

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Nothing surprises me with housebuilders these days. The houses are put up as quickly and as cheaply as possible and are sold for as much as possible. I've lived in a Wimpey house and the quality was appalling. They cut a lot of corners, but your experience sounds dreadful. It's only going to get worse with the housing slump.

 

I know this isn't that helpful but next time it might be worth taking out homebuyers insurance. At least that would cover your costs.

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I'm not so sure your right. It was reasonable to expect that any information that would be extraordinary would be disclosed from the start. It was not and therefore they conducted negligent misrepresentation which caused their customer to lose funds. Actionable misrepresentation does not depend on a contract being signed, as long as a clear connection can be proven, that is sufficient. I've succeeded in claims like that before.

 

Well I admit it's a few years since I studied contract law but I do remember that a representation is a statement of fact made by one party to a contract to the other which, while not forming a term of the contract, is one of the reasons that induces the representee to enter into the contract. A mis rep is simply a representation that is untrue. I'd be pleased to be proved wrong if you can show me authority for your case that there can be a misrep where there is no contract.

That said there is no harm in making the threat although I can't see any reason not to pursue both at least initially. It's not illegal to make simultaneous claims. It would be "illegal" to recover from one without disclosing it to the other (at least to the extent that you would have to repay one or the other if found out) but that's all. I think the solicitor route is more likely to bear fruit but an LBA to Wimpey on a suck it and see basis is worth a try.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree with the poster who said most new houses are rubbish. I live in a (rented thank goodness) Roland Bardsley house, and have to be very careful about putting up shelves as they nearly rip the walls down lol :D. Also when next door shut their front door, our house rattles like mad!

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  • 1 year later...

We too purchased a George Taylor Wimpey Home recently for our sin's! The nightmare of the past 6 months since buying this horrible home has taken it's toll on our health.

 

The day of taking ownership - they flooded the ground floor of the house and made every effort to prevent us from knowing what had taken place by delaying us from arriving in order to dry-out the house as quickly as possible!

 

The entire house was so badly constructed that the list of defects would take me days to compile but here's just a few - together with refusing to install two windows which were indicated within the show home, and via the floor plans...

 

Whilst still deciding on the house, and before purchasing it. Wimpey's fitters caused a Gas Leak within the kitchen but never alerted anyone of the leak. Simply, they installed the gas cooker directly in-front of the leak and sold us the home thereafter! The kitchen was also completely designed incorrctly, and after several weeks of challenging difficulties with Wimpey's - they finally accepted that the kitchen design of their "Warwick" homes was in error. Wimpey's decided to refit the kitchenafter a month had passed of us living with this situation, and this is when the Gas Leak was finally discovered by EMERGENCY GAS CALL-OUT ENGINEERS! who shut the property down and declared it "IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS" We learnt of this formal position some weeks later as we were kept apart from those engineers by Wimpey's on-site manager in order for him to declare to them that he was the owner of our home instead in order for the formal notice to be handed to him instead of us! He then stuffed the notice behind the gas meter on the outside of the house in order for us not to see it or the seriousness of the condition of the house. The gas meter was also changed without us being aware as this too was actioned by him after repeating his position of being the owner of our home to those who changed it.

 

The chiminey almost fell-off the roof as it wasn't secured before they mortored it. The central henating system started-up whenever it wanted too - even after it was completely shut-down! The water pressure is so poor that if you are taking a shower, and someone turns-on a tap elsewhere - the shower stops!

 

skirting boards around the house at different levels are different sizes, and when linked together they are unable too match. The wash basins & pedestals are different sizes and don't come together from their slots underneath - as well as hanging further over to one side because they are not cental.

 

The loft-space is a patchwork quilt of joins nailed together in order to form the A-FRAME ROOF which constantly twists & squeaks whenever there's a slightly windy day.

 

The floors to each level of the house have many, many, many holes cut-out whilst they were adding pipes and leaving others redundant in the voids, only to then glue the cut-outs back in-place rather than replace the floor panels.

 

These are just a selection of horrors from buying a George Taylor Wimpey Home, and if anyone ever asks me if they too should buy a new home. I would tell them to run, run and never look back or you will regret it for the rest of your life. I would rather live in a Cardboard Box (as it would be safer) than a George Taylor Wimpey Home!

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  • 6 months later...

My parent's bought a George Wimpey home and it was Freehold but the garage is leasehold. We share a parking court with three other people, in total there are three garages and four parking spaces. This area is so confined every resident has damaged their cars, also vistors have.

My parent's moved into this property Feb 09, and in April 09 I informed Wimpey about this problem. Only one property was left to be sold and they still adevrtised it with garage and parking space. My neighbour moved into it August 09 he has also damaged his vehicle.

 

The garage is leasehold and we cannot park our vehicle in it,also the parking space is not fit for use.

 

As far as I am concerned Wimpey has sold properties full well knowing this major design fault and this is proved above.

 

Wimpey are not refusing to help to sort this problem out. Can anybody give me advice where we stand legally with regards to this matter?

 

If we took legal action how do the solicitors costs work?

 

Any advice would be much appreciated because my parent's are in their 60's and do not have the finances to take on Wimpey.

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Buy a smaller car? The house builders are not responsible for the size of vehicles parked within these properties. The purchaser either purchase a home with a garage of the correct dimensions or buys elsewhere.

 

It is no mistake that they are fully aware that garages are on the 'small' side, but even when there IS the ability to park within with no damage, most folk prefer to use their garage for storage (as those houses have limited storage space anyway).

 

It would be fooling yourself to expect there is a 'standard' car. With most families having TWO vehicles, they don't expect to get both vehicles under cover, so issues of driving in and not being able to climb out easily are very real. Since it is up to the purchaser to satisfy themselves their house meets their requirements, this is more than counting bedrooms - the size of the garage is a major consideration.

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Buzby I'm sorry I have not explained my situation correctly the garage is fine, however the distance from garage to the parking spaces makes it impossible for any resident to get a car out of the garage if their is a vehicle parked opposite in a parking bay.

 

Further, when all four residents have to exit the actual parking court they have damaged their vehicles. My neighbour has told me after I sumitted the complaint, a Gerorge Wimpey representative attempted to exit the parking court from the furthest parking space to the exit (which my parent's own), he needed a banker from the behind and in front to get him out without damaging his vehicle. There were about 8 senior mangement there on the day that witnessed this. George Wimpey have told me it meets minimum measurement requirements, which I can accept,however they still have failed to tell me how cars should be situated in such a confined space.

 

I have been driving for 11 years and drive a very small car "Ford Fiesta". My neighbour drives a Peugeot 206 and he has also damaged his vehicle. It's a great shame I cannot submit photos to show the parking court and it would illustrate the problem. I can assure you it is not the car size but the actual size of the parking court or the number of vehicles there.

 

I await any helpful comments.

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It still hinges on vehicle size though.... if the resident's vehicles (whether those parked in the relevant space or being used to exit or enter the garage) were smaller and the manoeuvre possible, it still would be hard to claim anything other than carp design logistics.

 

Even then, I know of one estate that the _ parking space must be vacated in order for the garage to be entered (due to the need to 'swing'. They got round this by allocating the space to the same household, so that just like a linear driveway, you've got to move the vehicle in front to get in or out.

 

I'monly aware of one instance where a builder was successfully sued, and this was when it was discovered even with a Daewoo/Chryslet Matiz, it was impossible for the householder to park the car in the garage as the parking tolerances were so tight it was impossible to park successfully. They then modified their estate descriptions to say that the garage was ideal for storage....!

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So your saying we cannot do anything about it and we are stuck with a parking space and garage that we cannot use for the purpose it was built. My parents pay £145 annually for the leasehold of the garage and £50 ground for no reason.

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Did you buy off-plan, or did the property physically exist when you agreed to purchase it? If off-plan and no sizes were disclosed, then you have to take the risk that the item may not meet your requirements. If it physically existed, then you would be expected to satisfy yourself that your requirements are met. This is no different to finding that your beds won;t go up the stairs or that your setee won't fit through the door of the lounge. None of this can be blamed on anyone, especially the housebuilder.

 

You keep stating that it cannot be used for the purpose to which it was built, but the house builders could just as easily argue that the property had been built to accepted standards and code, and it is the purchased that mis-bought. In situations like these, the only recourse is to quit and get somewhere that DOES meet your requirements. Without being able to prove negligence the chances of success in court are minimal, and you have to run the risk of paying in full not only your own costs, but those of the house builder as the winner of the action.

 

The only occasion that I can see that would be an advantage is if there was a specification change that resulted in the buildings being erected in a manner contrary to plan - leading to the problems you complain of. This HAS happened in the past, as owner was able to gain compensation due to an group of 8 homes being built 'bunched together' and closer than the proposed 3 metre spacing that formed the original planning application. The ended up being only 1 metre apart due to land stability issues at one end of the site.

 

There have been bedrooms built that won't take a standard length bed - but can still be legally described as a bedroom. Similarly, parking spaces, if smaller than the car you have - you either get a car to fit, or seek a different property. Trying to hold the house builder to account because this problem wasn't noted in time before signing the deeds is bound to fail, unfortunately.

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The property and parking court actually existed at the time of purchase and the developer is claiming it meets minimum measurements. The person that purchased the first property should have had our parking space that is allocated to us at the present moment, but he told the developer at the time of purchase he did not want this and had the one that should have been assigned to the property we are living.

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