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.


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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!


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“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.


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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.


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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 http://www.spanglefish.com/greenbeltgroupaction/.

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 http://www.spanglefish.com/greenbeltgroupaction/index.asp?pageid=369257


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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  https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/165770 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 stingers.homeownersrights.net – strength in numbers!


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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.

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English Test Case?

A member has applied to the Land Registry to have his covenants extinguished using their form RX3. Unfortunately this has been unsuccessful due to lack of case law in England and Wales (Scottish case doesn’t count here). What is needed is a successful English/Welsh case and he is exploring this with a solicitor. Is anyone else interested? It may be a case of getting together to choose the “best” set of deeds to go with, and then we would all need to be willing to chip in towards the insurance if it is done on a “no win no fee basis”, as in Scotland.
Email, comment or post on FaceBook if you want to join this effort.


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Estate Directory

We know there are many of us, but we don’t yet know figures up and down the country. Add your estate/development to our directory – it will help us all in our campaigns.  We will post the directory on our FaceBook group and on this site but will not publicise your name or email.  We ask for these details in case we need to contact you directly for more information.

Please let us know your Estate Name, UK area, number of homes, builder, management company and if it is finished yet. Please either comment here or on facebook or use this form

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Estate Name(required)

UK Area

Number of Homes

Builder(s)

Management Company

Annual Estate Charge (please don't include leasehold charges)

Completed?


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