I’ve had a frustrating week with my fight to sort my Leasehold issue and buy the Freehold of my property.
I started by emailing the chairman at Persimmon who kept ignoring me. I then tried emailing the customer service lady who had been handling my call.
Both kept ignoring me.
So I was hunting for other names and came across a reminder that they once told me that ‘all of the freeholds on my estate have the same permission clauses in place as the leaseholders’
I found that hard to believe, so I went and asked a load of people who live on my estate.
Sure enough, none of the freeholders have this clause!
So I wrote an email to the guy that said it, saying “Here’s what you said, but I’ve proven it’s not true…”
He didn’t come back, so I called him up and put him right on the spot.
He was much more polite, and sounded really awkward!
I told him what i’d done and he was rather surprised. He said he’d talk to his boss and come back to me.
Then the next day he sent me a pathetic email essentially saying ‘we wont be removing any clauses…’
I tried to call him as soon as the email arrived and he ‘wasn’t available’ which is ridiculous.
As though the universe wanted me to succeed with this, my boss walked in and told us to go home because it was Friday PM and we’d had a good week.
I was nervous about what I wanted to do next, but after a quick re read of the email I’d received fobbing me off and telling me to essentially ‘accept it or get lost’, I bucked up the courage to just go next door to the office I work in, where Persimmon’s HQ happens to be based.
I asked the receptionist to get me the man that emailed me. She said he was probably gone, but firstly he had literally just emailed me…secondly…
They had a list of all the employees and when they went in and out of the building!
I was talking at the receptionist whilst trying to read down it, fortunately she could also see on the list that he was definitely in the building.
So she sent someone up while I waited around.
This man came down, looking extremely uncomfortable with the fact I’d turned up unannounced, he was polite and I went through why I was there and that I wasn’t happy with his response.
He went and got me a contract and we talked about the fact that there’s no excuse for the clause I want removed to be there. He told me it was standard in all contracts, but hilariously, the contract he got me didn’t have the same clause in it!
So I said I’d get him my clause and we can discuss it from there.
This is the final offending clause:
Not to erect or construct any building or other structure whatsoever whether temporary or permanent on the Property (except for good quality domestic sheds and greenhouses of a size appropriate to the Property) without the prior consent in writing of the Transferor for which a fee will be payable Provided always that during the first ten year period commencing on the date of this Transfer the fee shall be £250 plus VAT (“the Fee”) and on the expiry of each successive period of ten years from the date of this Transfer the Fee shall increase by an amount equivalent to the increase (if any) in the Retail Price Index published by HM Government (or such replacement index from time to time) during that decade.
It’s an absolute nonsense clause.
I said to him, if I want to make changes to the house, then sometimes I might have to ask the council for planning permission. If they say yes, it doesn’t matter what Persimmon say, it’s none of their business…
If they say yes and the council says no, then I’m boned.
So what’s the point?
They said to me that the £250 is just for the admin they need to do to verify what we want to change.
They don’t need to do the admin in the first place, so it is just a massive con.
I need to send it to him tomorrow along with what I expect to replace it.
The frustrating thing now is that everyone who has a freehold where I live has no clause to replace it!
There’s just no clause!
They’re so full of it, I’m being told it is absolutely critical to ensure I don’t erect an enormous eyesore in my garden, but the damn thing doesn’t even prevent that!
It stops me being able to add an extension on if ever I want to – unless I pay them £250 – I don’t know if it extends to decking in my garden, or if it would include converting my garage into a room – it isn’t clear.
It doesn’t seem like a major deal I guess, but it is the principal that they want to charge me for doing nothing. If I win this fight it’ll probably save me £250 in like 5-10 years, so it isn’t about the money.
I just feel like I was sold the house under the pretence that I would be completely in charge and now these cretins are just there with their hands out because they built it.
I’m starting to feel like maybe I’m just being irrational about it, maybe I’ve done good getting this far.
But then I just don’t get why it matters this much to them that they’re fighting back to keep it and it makes me think it’s worth getting rid of!
I’m definitely too wound up about it, it has put me in a foul mood.