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Miller Homes – Buyer Beware!
I would just like you to know the experience I had with Miller Homes and their site at Whittley Park in Chorley. First off, I am not moaning about the quality of their houses as we thought that they were good from our initial inspection, the problem came from the way that we have been ripped off by their sales manager. When we signed for the reservation plot we were told that they had to take a deposit of £250.00 which only half was refundable if we decided not to continue with the sale. We asked if there were any points in contract of sale that we should know about and if we could see it before we sign. The sales rep Phil told us that the contract is not available and we only get to see it when the solicitor sends it to us for signing but you can be rest assured that it is a standard contract of sale with no hidden extras and the only fees to pay are the leasehold fee of £150.00 per year and the extra rent charge which is fixed at another £150.00 per year so £300.00 per year in total. Although this seemed a little expensive we decided that we would proceed with the part exchange deal, at the time they were buying our house in Somerset so it was a good 4 hour drive every time so we decided to pick our kitchen while we were there. We went to the options centre and paid for a dishwasher as an extra at a cost of £525.00, apparently this was non-refundable if we pulled out but the sales rep assured us that everything would be OK and we have 14 days to look at the contract and cancel the dishwasher if we did not proceed. This was the end of November and it was over 3 weeks before we got a copy of the contract and this is where the fun started. In the contract the management company who run the Buckshaw Village development is RMG, in the contract were lots of leasehold fees such as a fee to change mortgage providers or a remortgage, put up an extension or Satellite dish and the worst one was the commission they wanted for you to sell your home on top of the leasehold pack fee. In the contract they all started at a minimum of £75.00 plus vat or a reasonable amount to cover administration. So we thought that this meant £75.00 plus VAT, so I decided to check them out and put RMG into Google and WOW what a shock, this company has been on BBC Watchdog for ripping leaseholders off and the FEES were more like £180 plus vat for the change of mortgage provider and up to £350 plus VAT for the leasehold pack and about 0.025% commission for them to let you sell your house. We ring Miller Homes and they said that they do not know anything about this and no one else had complained about the contract, so I told them we would only proceed if the house was sold freehold and these lease terms were no longer applicable. They agreed and sent out the NEW contract which arrived after Christmas 2012. Bear into mind that the 14 day cooling off period had elapsed on the dishwasher so I am sure you know where this is going. After reading through the contract, the lease terms had now been moved in the covenants and the lease fee were reduced to a £5.00 charge, so not exactly FREEHOLD as they had told me although the solicitor we used told me it was and all NEW houses are like this. By the way use your own solicitors and not theirs as they did not point out any of this to me and when challenged they just said it was standard on all new build properties and there was nothing we could do about it. So, in short we pulled out and now Miller Homes sale manager Kay has told me ‘no way’ are we getting back the money we paid for the dishwasher and we are only entitled to half the reservation fee back. This is not fair as they did not show us a copy of the sale contract when we signed although she said that if we have waited one would have been made available for us to read through first – yeah right! Not saying that the houses are bad, only just read the contract before signing anything and do not part with your money before you know as they will keep it and just ignore you when you ask for it back. The managers do not get back to you when you ask and just get the sales staff at the estate to ring you back, it is just like Chinese whispers and very frustrating. Bear into mind that when the offers like part exchange and deposit paid are all gone and your house is just like every other second hand house how are you going to sell it with these rip off fees. Remember a fee to rent the house out, a fee to remortgage your house, a fee to put up an extension or a satellite dish, a fee to sell your house along with a leasehold pack fee. The list goes on and on and this is just a money making racket. Read up on RMG and you will see what I mean, they have CCJs under their previous name of CPM, the residents of Buckshaw Village are sitting on a time bomb because when the houses are sold off and the house builders like Miller Homes are gone this company will just bulk out the charges on the contracts. They are already charging twice the fee they state in the contracts so what will it be like when they are the sole owners of the leasehold. I wasted £2500.00 with solicitors and mortgage fees already and i think this was a very small price to pay so I don’t end up buying a lemon that I would find very difficult to sell on under this terms of sale. Check out the links below:
Report this review By Carl Bonnici 28/01/2013
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