More from @BBCLondonNews tonight with @guy_lynn and @RizLateef.— Dan Bruce (@dannybster) December 19, 2023
Also, a scathing review by @LKPleasehold's @sebastianokelly of #leasehold, the #BuildingSafetyCrisis, the UK's inability to build safe, quality apartment blocks, and the need for consumer protections.… pic.twitter.com/IurJEy1PnF
An appallingly built block of seven flats in Camden, Agar Grove, featured on BBC London news last night.
It was only built in 2018 but the build defects are so bad that the four flats that were sold for £800-900,000 are now valueless. Three of the flats still belong to the original developer, Prime Metro Development, a minnow company with an associated local estate agency. The fact that they are unsold, suggests the issues with Agar Court became widely known before it sold out.
According to BBC reporter Guy Lynn’s report, jewellery designer and leaseholder Alexandra Druzhin said: “We’re just scared it’s all going to collapse one day, with us in it, and we will die.”
Images of the wobbling walls, fascia that pulls away by hand, ceilings with multiple holes caused by leaks, do suggest the building is in dire condition.
Leaseholder Dan Bruce told LKP that the three leaseholders had spent £350,000 on legal fees wrestling with the developer, contractor and warranty provider Acasta European Insurance Company Limited, “regulated and licensed by the Financial Services Commission of Gibraltar”. In spite of the expense, nothing has yet come to court.
The issues are reported in the TV clip above and on the BBC website here:
Leaseholders who bought new-build flats are enduring a nightmare over structural defects.
And in the Sunday Times here:
Housing secretary Michael Gove wrote to Acasta in May describing its behaviour as “unacceptable” and described the plight faced by the leaseholders as “deplorable”.
According to Mr Bruce the leases are for 125 years, no service charges have been paid for three years and although he believes there is ground rent, none has been demanded.
There appear to be reports stating that the building needs to be demolished and rebuilt.
How is it possible that a block of flats can be built so badly and home purchasers left stranded in properties that are now valueless and possibly dangerous, and that redress is proving incredibly difficult?
As Michael Gove stated, purchasers of washing machines have better protection.
After the programme, Labour MP Mike Amesbury – the site is in Sir Keir Starmer’s London constituency – raised the matter again with the housing minister Lee Rowley.