Survey for an English Test Case

The effects of the test case in Scotland are now being felt with many home owners successfully getting their burdens struck out! We are preparing to run a test case under English law and need your help. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey

The information will be used to support our campaigns as well as helping us identify suitable deeds to challenge.


A New Year Opportunity!

Happy New Year HorNets!

Let’s make it a good one. Start by contacting your MP to urge them to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Common Hold Reform. This group is looking at land and property reform in view of the exploitation of their constituents who are leaseholders. The recent debate (20th December 2016) highlighted the problems ordinary home owners face when up against greedy land owners and maintenance companies. We are in a similar situation and need to get the private estate model stopped before more new home owners become trapped. The co chair, Jim Fitzpatrick did mention our problems in his introductory speech.  You can watch the debate here –

For more information about the group take a look at

Don’t miss this golden opportunity to include our issues in any proposed reforms – TAKE ACTION – write to your MP now! You can use this template as a basis APPGMP


A Dog’s Dinner?

Eventually passes through… What has this got to do with private estates? Well – we have public open spaces on private land and literally are falling between stools! Dog fouling legislation in England applies only to public open spaces, so if there is a problem on your estate the council may not act. You will almost certainly be paying for the clean up through your management charges if the company actually deal with it.

This post is not intended to be offensive, but the scenario does highlight how the private estate model is unworkable at the practical day to day level which impacts on all our lives.


Double Whammy for Leaseholders on Private Estates

As we link across the country with other home owners we discover that leaseholders on private estates not only have to pay the same land maintenance charges, but are faced with excessive ground rents and unaffordable prices if they wish to buy their freehold. This article gives some details.

So it is not only freeholders who are being ripped off in this scandalous land grab!


“Private” estates – what does this mean?

If you think living on a private estate means you have exclusive use of the amenity land, think again! You will actually be paying for the upkeep of land which is privately owned, but open to the general public to use and abuse. You will still pay full council tax. Before the private estate model for new builds became common place, these areas were adopted by the council after completion, but now they will never be adopted through agreements between the developers and the council. So if you live near a public park or on an older estate, you will not pay extra for your proximity to green open space. New build home owners on “private” estates are unwittingly paying for the back door privatisation of public open space.


Members in Action

We now have over 300 Face Book group members and 60 newsletter subscribers. Great progress in just 6 months! The petition started by a member has over 600 signatures – many more are needed so if you support our request to the government to reform this iniquitous set up please sign and share.

Leaflets are being printed and distributed across the country to spread the word. Campaign_leaflet

Several members are supporting each other and refusing to be bullied by taking their defence to court after with holding payment. Cases are due before the end of the year.

Some people are having fun at the sales offices posing as purchasers and asking awkward questions about the maintenance charges in the presence of unwitting new customers.

Actions to hold councils to account include freedom of information requests about section 106 agreements, complaints about lack of due diligence and demanding the landscape management plans are adhered to.

We are actively supporting each other and trust our members no longer feel isolated.


New Information on Greenbelt Action Group Site

The Greenbelt Action Group who brought the action against Greenbelt to the Scottish Lands Tribunal have recently updated their site with helpful information for both Scottish and residents of other UK areas, as they always promised to do. Find out more at their site

The long term effects and repercussions of this test case are yet to be revealed, and it is worth following what happens over time, especially since Greenbelt stopped maintaining their land and may soon face planning enforcement to do so……

Of particular interest is the Legal section and the text highlighted in red concerning consumer law and unfair contracts which you can read here


Petition the government!

Great news! HorNets are on the up! 250 FaceBook members are a very lively bunch. Some are fighting their charges in court, a member has started a government petition at please sign and share – you don’t have to be freeholder on a private estate so get your friends and family to support you and sign.

We now have a Twitter account, so if you are a Tweeter please follow and retweet at @HorNet_Group 

If you are allergic to social media, apply to join our forum at – strength in numbers!


If you live in Scotland the Homeowner Housing Panel can help…

A member has emailed the following suggestions. The HoHp applies only if you live in Scotland, place of more enlightened laws!  The other suggestions would apply anywhere.

An effective way to challenge the minimal and shoddy maintenance is to lodge an application to the HoHP but important to compile solid evidence such as Summer and Winter photographs, annual independent site audit by a professional landscaper and ensure they have sight of Greenbelt's current Written Statement of Services, involve local MPs and Trading Standards Support and for newer developments check if the Local Authority can take enforcement action for non-compliance with the title deeds / Written Statement of Services.  Also, involving the Press is usually effective and form a resident's association to prevent Greenbelt picking off residents one by one.  Easily the worst company I have ever had the unfortunate experience of dealing with, lots of false promises about doing the work, bullying and threatening tactics against legitimate complaints and would have sacked them years ago if possible.  See West Myreton Resident web page which has done excellent work in tackling this nightmare of a company.