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Please think before buying property from Keepmoat

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We reserved a Loxley (one of the 3 bed house design types they have) in May this year at the Keepmoat Brearley Forge development in Parson Cross. I taken the following from our website, I have tried to make it as short as possible but our story really is that long!

 

EasyKey

The idea is that Keepmoat organise the marketing of your property and chase the Estate Agent when needed. This did not happen and they even managed to delay our house being marketed by 3 weeks.

 

Mis-Sold

 

We were mis-sold the house (Build type Loxley). It is missing a window in the bathroom as it is an internal bathroom rather than being on the outside wall. The living room, kitchen/dining room and master bedroom were meant to be dual aspect – instead they are missing one window in each room.

 

Instead of Keepmoat apologising for their mistake they blame us, try to make us look stupid and even became aggressive towards us.

 

They insist that the reason the orientation is different is because this Loxley is in a block of three. Except there is one problem, all the other Loxleys are in a block of three (apart from the showhome which is in a block of 4) have windows to the side, even the showhome in the block of 4 has them. When I point this out by showing them their own site map with the other blocks of 3 the staff became aggressive. Even after pointing out the block of 3 argument was nonsense they still insisted that that was the reason for the orientation. To to make it clear the Loxley we reserved was at one end of the terrace, obviously if we had reserved a mid terraced version of the house we would have known it would not have windows to the side.

 

 

Promise. Delivered.

After the mis-selling we take the matter higher up and we are offered a reimbursement of our kitchen upgrade (£550) and a solar tube in the bathroom. We also have the option of pulling out completely as they offer to reimburse our out of pocket expenses if we choose to do so.

 

When we first reserved we had pretty much our pick of Loxleys, we were one of the first to reserve in May 2013. By now (end of August) all the other Loxleys had been reserved and we were stuck with either accepting the plot and Keepmoat’s offer or pulling out completely. Because of our circumstances and the offer of a solartube we chose to stick with Keepmoat and the house – a mistake we later regret.

 

Later Keepmoat deny offering the solartube and instead say that they were just looking into the possibility. However, this change of mind is 6 weeks after their original offer and after we had gone around like headless chickens to secure a new buyer – see below. When we query the reimbursement of our out of pocket expenses it turns out Keepmoat will not cover all of them if we pull out just certain select ones.

 

Again we are now facing the choice of the house or not. Really we should have pulled out at this point as alarm bells should have been ringing but again due to our circumstances and the fact that we still liked the house we decided to carry on with the purchase.

 

Our Sale Falls Through

Although not Keepmoat’s fault that the buyer for our current home pulled out they would not give us a reasonable amount of time to sell the house. We asked for a couple of weeks, which bearing in mind the 3 week delay caused by Keepmoat’s inability to organise the sale of our house under their EasyKeys scheme, I did not think that this request was unreasonable. Their answer – you have two days or we put the house back on the market.

 

We sell the house to another buyer for 81k, our house is worth around 93-95k but we have no choice otherwise we the lose the Keepmoat house. 81K only covers our outstanding mortgage and early repayment fee, we don’t have enough money in the bank to cover a deposit and solicitors fees, surveys, etc. We arrange a loan from family to cover the remainder we need.

 

We need to complete by the, 27th September, 25th October, or maybe the 31st of October, or maybe never?

On the 17th of October we are are told that we need to complete by the 25th this is then changed to the 31st. However our solicitor reassures that he has already spoken to Keepmoat Homes’ solicitor and that we can not complete by then because our buyer can not complete yet. He advises that Keepmoat’s end of year is the 31st and this is why they want to complete then – it is basically just a scare tactic used by them and they won’t really pull out. The estate agent is being pestered by Keepmoat to get us to complete by the 31st or they will pull out. However, the estate agent thinks it is also a tactic and they won’t really pull out. At this point we have had no direct communication from Keepmoat since the 17th.

 

On the 17th we are also told that our solicitor was faxed on the 3rd and 4th of September about a completion date of the 27th of September. However, our solicitor never received these faxes and it took until the 17th of October for Keepmoat’s solicitor to chase this up. I find it very odd it took their solicitor 6 weeks to chase this up, especially when were apparently due to complete two weeks earlier. But as the house was not even ready then, and it had still not been signed off on the 17th of October it was impossible for us to complete on the 27th of September. Keepmoat’s solicitor implies that Keepmoat are being generous when they extend the deadline to the 31st of October, I think giving us only two weeks notice of completion is unfair (Home Builders Consumer Code says we should be treated fairly).

 

We then find out on the 5th of November, via the estate agent again, that Keepmoat Homes have sold the house to someone else. We only found out because the estate agent is chasing up us and Keepmoat for a progress report. It seems odd that Keepmoat have not told the estate agent to stop marketing our property and waited for the estate agent to contact them as they are paying their fees as part of EasyKey.

 

Keepmoat insist that they told us on the 1st of November that the house was being re-marketed. Later on we are sent a copy of this email. Unfortunately Keepmoat managed to send the email to the wrong person as they have typed in my husband’s email address wrong. The incorrect email is actually a valid email address so someone unrelated to this knows what happened with our house sale. Great way to break the Data Protection Act Keepmoat.

Can we have the house?

Our solicitor advises us that if we can act quickly Keepmoat Homes might still sell the house to us. It takes our buyer 3 weeks to be ready to exchange but we ask Keepmoat anyway as it would be unlikely for the other buyer to be ready to exchange already – searches are taking around 2-3 weeks and you have to draw up a draft contract before you can complete searches anyway. We ask Keepmoat and get told we cannot have plot 42 as they are now selling it someone else.

 

Keepmoat make no real effort to sell us an alternative plot, they say they can move our reservation fee to another plot but do not tell us which plots are available. I would have thought as we are ready to buy a house now they might have had least tried to talk us into buying another property, but instead they seem happier for us to walk away.

 

Reserved or not reserved?

Keepmoat can not cancel a reservation as part of the Code of Conduct for Home Builders. However, it can expire if they give us a clear expiry date.

Keepmoat still have our reservation fee, which suggests that we still have a valid reservation.

 

In my head it should work like this, Keepmoat can let the reservation expire and give us our money back. Or they carry on the reservation and keep our money. They can’t cancel our reservation but make no attempt to give us our money back.

 

The END

So in summary we have have waited 6 months for the house to be ready, been lied to again and again, have had Keepmoat staff a few inches away from my face shouting at me, received a lack of communication, put up with a company which is happy to break the Code of Conduct they are obliged to follow, and broken the property mis-descriptions act. You would think after all that really they should be the ones to lose out but sadly no we have, we are over £2000 lighter and have no new home to show for it. However, Keepmoat are selling the house to someone else just so they can line their pockets a little quicker (if at all quicker) than if they had stuck with us as buyers.

 

---

Our mortgage adviser, solicitor and estate agent have never known anything like it. Our estate agent said she has never known a home builder pull out when so near to completion, even when there is a few week delay, it just doesn't happen - but it happened to us.

 

We have created our website as a warning to others, so hopefully no one else will go through what we did.

 

-----

 

RIP http://mykeepmoathell.co.uk

Edited by Love2print

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Sorry to hear this but thanks for the tip off. Hope things work out for you. Where exactly is the development?

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Thanks, Keepmoat are meant to be looking into our complaint - that was 3 days ago and we have had no update since.

 

It's on Falstaff Road/Falstaff Cresent, S5.

 

The Brearley Forge development is a partnership with Sheffield Council and Great Places (https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/regeneration/sheffield-housing-company/forming-the-Sheffield-Housing-Company.html). There was some sort of approval process that Keepmoat had to go through before the council partnered with them.

 

If our situation is not a one off instance, I really hope Sheffield Council re-consider the partnership.

 

---------- Post added 02-12-2013 at 07:28 ----------

 

Keepmoat have offered to cover our out of pocket expenses but they aren't overly happy about our website to say the least. They have offered no compensation for inconvenience/stress but I'm not exactly surprised.

 

I really wanted our website to stay up as a warning to others but Keepmoat want it taking down. So we have removed the content.

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Hi everyone

 

Me and my partner purchased a keepmoat property on the Brearly Forge site.

In all it has been a utterly horrific experience.

 

Firstly the builders did not fit any phone lines under ground, this took two weeks for them to acknowledge whilst they accused me of not knowing how to plug a phone in. When they acknowledged they hadn't with 5 different houses reporting this issue they then took two weeks to arrange something which took 1 day to complete.

 

Prior to moving in I provided keepmoat with a statement stating the importance of having telephone access for my my work and my partner as she is currently pregnant and has a chronic physical health condition. Keepmoat gave assurance that the phone lines were all fitted prior to moving in. Since then my partner has encountered problems and not been able to contact emergency services, keepmoats answer to this was to buy a new mobile phone, we have purchased every mobile possible although the signal in the area is none excitant. Keepmoat's response to this is that it is not their problem, they do not care that their relentless pursuit of money for the close of the financial year has potentially put the life of a mother and unborn child at risk or that they have caused my professional reputation significant harm.

 

Secondly they informed us the day before that we were required to move in, the 30th of May conveniently for end of their financial year and told if we did not we would fail loosing the property and our £10,000 deposit. Keepmoat were aware that this would leave a pregnant women with a chronic health problem and a 3 year old child homeless if this occurred.

 

We were not given a opportunity to view the property or test appliances and were forced to fill in a sheet stating that we had entered the property before we could be given keys, since then anything which has gone wrong they have refused to address as it was not I the initial sheet which I did not sign.

 

We have been left with contaminated water supply, which they claimed was normal for three weeks due to their water harvesting system leaving soil and refuse in the water supply. You can imagine the issues this causes having a 3 year old child and a pregnant women

with health condition leaving her physically vulnerable and the hazard having contaminated water presents to even healthy people.

 

Keepmoat have done nothing to help this, they continue to build without respect for us living on the site, preventing whole access to the house at

times. Our back guardian is overshadowed by a 10ft high pile of rubble which could potentially fall on our garden so our daughter cannot play out, there is huge diggers and other machines throwing rubble and rocks around over our garden, the builders throw cigarette ends into the garden and find it humorous

And just throw more rubbish in when you complain.

 

Please think long and hard before purchasing and property from this

company, they state their about customer

satisfaction and that everyone is important, the building are aesthetically nice although they're rushed, not like the show homes, they promise solar panels and many other benefits although they didn't provided them and only tell you on the

move in day and when you complain they don't care, they just want your money and will say anything to get it.

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Some of the issues I can sympathise with and it sounds like Keepmoat haven't behaved particularly well.

However surely you would have known the day before your moving in date if you were going to complete on the property and move in the next day (30th March? rather than 30th May).

Also you knew you were moving into a live building site so should expect noise, obstructions etc.. however it shouldn't affect your ability to access your property.

Sounds like you need to contact their head office.

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Yer we moved in on the 30th of March sorry, I wrote this off my iPhone so it can be difficult to proof read.

 

 

Keepmoats head office have been in touch, they have said they will talk and attempt to solve any issues that will arise so hopefully everything will now be resolved

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Good luck, hope you get this resolved! In my own experience their head office pass everything onto to the regional head office. Problem I have found is because the staff all know each other they tend to back each other up.

 

They also tend to blame you, the customer and won't take responsibility for mistakes even if it is blatantly obvious it is their fault. I passed my complaint to Trading Standards - not because I thought they would investigate more because I know they keep complaints on file and if they get several about the same company then they might investigate. One of the issue we had was mis-selling (not the promise of solar panels like you but wrong plot layout shown and the promise of a car port), I have always had the feeling that the Sales Executive involved has probably mis-sold houses before and will again.

 

Hopefully Keepmoat will get the issues sorted. Keep us updated.

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Late last year I visited Keepmoat over at Norfolk Park (Cutler's View?).

 

While I quite liked the layout of the houses, I found that once I got down to any details, there was an extreme inflexibility in their approach. I quickly found out that their plan showing solar panels on some homes actually meant there were no solar panels planned. I found out about dishwasher limitations. I found out that there was no way I could order my own internal sturdy wooden doors to have installed instead of the hollow white wooden doors they would put on - I thought this would save them time and cost (for me to have my own internal doors fitted into empty doorframes which they'd left empty) but they said I would have to have their hollow doors installed, then remove them, dispose of them and install my own internal doors. I got onto the options list and also found out there were further examples of them being totally inflexible - the woman kept saying "this is not bespoke, it's a production line" and I do understand that, to an extent, but it really put me off that some things I wanted (which felt reasonable to me) weren't even to be considered as viable options.

 

I thought all that was following the script a little bit, so I disengaged. This was just my own experience, and I did end up buying an old house in the end.

 

There was quite a bit of interest when I was there, from bright(?) young things, but I suspect this is partially driven by the existence of Help To Buy. This observed demographic interested me as the[se] Keepmoat homes have facilities included in their design to cater for the older generation... wide hallways and future space for internal lifts etc.. I did think that was quite a good design aspect.

 

---------- Post added 23-04-2014 at 16:04 ----------

 

I have always had the feeling that the Sales Executive involved has probably mis-sold houses before and will again.

 

I have followed - at a distance - your battle with this company off and on, and I always appreciate someone who does not give up in the face of adversity and lies. A cautionary tale, indeed.

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I am yet to see a well constructed 'new build', personally wouldn't touch one with a barge pole. Standards are too sloppy these days. Shame really.

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Following this a keepmoat have contacted me and stated they do not feel this is fully factual as they have made some responses.

 

Firstly the executive come to my house, sat there and explained all the failures was down to people below him failing to do their job properly and did offer apologies. Keepmoats chief of construction did after 6 days of me complaining to keepmoat get the site managers to do the work although another display of incompetence tooks them 5 days to confirm the job so that bt could even come to confirm that the work was done.

 

They did offer apologies for the mucky water and said they could switch that back. This is now over 21 days of having mucky water.

 

The executive made apologies for the failures and offered to reimburse our curtains which have been damaged. Yet the fail to see how they have put my partners life and the life of our unborn child at risk due to no communications due to her health condition after I provided advanced notification of the severity of this. They fail to acknowledge how they've potentially now put me at risk of loosing my job as I cannot meet the job description without reel coma

For out of hours duties and also made me loose work as people cannot get in touch with me. The immense distress and pressure this has caused both me and my partner. Is this me been over reactive as I do not feel them giving a free washing line, despite us remaining without a phone line, or any safe form of

Tele coms still after 5 weeks and no predicted end to this, meaning my partner and our unborn child remain at risk if I am out and my partner ends up in too much pain to run down the street to get signal to contact emergency services. What do other people think? They do read this thread so please make your opinions known. My feeling is to take them

to court and involve and form of media that will possibly listen, so then I can ensure even if I do not have any resolve at least other people won't have to experience such hell

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You still have no phone line, have BT been or not?

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The site have not informed BT of anything until I did, therefore now BT are having to do some work, but they won't give any details although they said if the builders would have complete the ducting and lines when they should have they'ld have completed the work although as they've only just been informed it will take them time, which they would have done prior early if the builders would have done their part at the correct time. We don't even get a update until the 29 th now. I've been to war and all sorts in my life but this has caused more stress than I have ever encountered

 

---------- Post added 24-04-2014 at 09:31 ----------

 

We have also had problems with the builders climbing up ok the fence looking into the window's. I immediately challenged the guy, who said "who the f*** are you to ask who I am? I take orders from my boss."

When I then went to the manager the man totally denied this

and so did his college. They have made a 3 meter perimeter partially around the fence now although this has made my partner fear for her safety when I am at work. We have seen the previous mentions of the company becoming aggressive when they've had people who won't back down and accept sub standard service.

Edited by Tmilner

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