Please note this is a work in progress. We sent a Subject Access Request (SAR) to Keepmoat Homes and the below time-line is composed from this data along with our own information. A lot of duplicate data was sent to us by Keepmoat which has required us to wade through it in order to make sense of the series of events.
Some abbreviations are used by Keepmoat’s staff which we are unfamiliar with so we are unable to advise what these mean. Keepmoat should have under our SAR provided a Key as to what these abbreviations mean but they did not so we are left guessing.
There are also gaps in regards to the data sent, as it was “not personal to us”. Keepmoat should have explained each gap in order for it to make sense rather than just using a generic sentence to describe all of the gaps. However, I believe there is enough information for us to make a reasonably accurate time-line.
Keepmoat Homes on their first attempt at complying with our Subject Access Request sent poorly redacted information to us (it was done with a marker and we could easily read what was written). Several parts which were redacted were personal to us and rather embarrassing for Keepmoat. We requested that we be provided with the information correctly redacted. On their second attempt they sent some of these emails to us un -redacted, but declined to send the rest as they were not personal to us – except they are as we can read them. On their second attempt they also provided the notes from their internal system COINS (we asked for these in our original request but they were not sent), they learn from their mistake and properly black out the sections they don’t want us read.
Keepmoat Homes provided us with the names, addresses and mobile telephone numbers of two other customers un-redacted. Don’t worry Keepmoat we won’t disclose their details but for any Keepmoat customers reading this you might want to think who might get access to your personal information. You might also what to think about Keepmoat’s staff say about you behind your back – “LOL”.
For your reference here is a Guide to some of the terms and names used within the Time Line.
COINS – This is the internal system which Keepmoat Homes use to log notes.
Plot Schedule – A Keepmoat Homes term used to describe the meeting where you go through the plans for the plot you have reserved.
Mandy Merrin – On the notes from COINS she is referred to as Mandy Binns, presumably her maiden name. She is a Home Sales Executive.
Stephanie Maier – Home Sales Executive
Cheryl Brown – Home Sales Exectuive
Suzanne Gagen – Sales Manager
Lynn Wade – Legal Executive
Vanessa Burling – Sales Director
Mark Knight – Managing Director for Keepmoat Homes Yorkshire Region
Tom Fenton – Project Director for Sheffield Housing Company
12/05/2013 – Pre-arranged visit to sale office but no one was there. Turned out Mandy Merrin (Homes Sales Executive) was ill but no one had contacted us to advise. We re-arranged and visited the sale office the following weekend. We were shown a artist impression and layout of a “Loxley”. We also saw a site plan and liked the look of two plots – Plot 40 and Plot 42. Both plots we due to be completed in September.
20/05/2013 – We enquired about reserving Plot 42.
24/05/2013 @ 10:00 – Husband comes to reserve Plot 42, £250.00 deposit is given at 10:30. He was given no further literature about the lot we reserved other than a basic reservation form and a receipt for the £250.00. The date for completion of the house is stated on the form as September, they can’t been more specific until closer to completion we are told. We decided to go with their EasyKey package – a package where they pay the fees and marketing costs of the sale of your house. My husband is informed that 2-3 Estate Agents will value our property. He signs a reservation form which contains our correct details – current address, phone numbers and husband’s email address. This form is also signed by Mandy Merrin. He should have been given a copy of the Consumer Code for Home Builders, as per the terms stated with the Code, he was not. At the time neither had ever heard of the code of conduct.
The reservation form is a handwritten form.
@ 11:16 – Another reservation form was created, electronically this time, different to the one my husband had signed.
@ 11:34 – Mandy emails Vanessa, Lynn and Suzanne to advise that the plot has been reserved.
@ 11.50 – Lynn Wade requests asks Mandy to send her a copy of the reservation form. “…Send me the manual res and I will do the same as yesterday for you on coins…”
– Notes entered on to COINS by Lynn Wade (Keepmoat’s Legal Executive). Reservation form was emailed to their solicitor. Notes state we are using DM and HTB plus some parts are blanked out.
There is a note or notes after this but they have been blanked out.
See the following page for copies of the reservation forms.
NOTES: DM=? HTB=Help to Buy?
The 11:16 form has been made to look like my husband has signed this copy by cutting and pasting the signature from the original form – this is clear when you look at the links to compare. This form contains an Annual Management Fee £175.00 unlike the original one which contains no fee. The first line of our address is incorrect along with the home phone number. Also Lynn Wade asks for the manual form so she can do the “same” as the day before. For reference, here is a link to a description of a Legal Executive job: http://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/280559-legal-executive-job-description
30/05/2013 @ 10:42 Mandy emails YourMove about doing a valuation, she misses out the first number of our phone number and the first line of our address is incorrect.
– YourMove call to book a valuation, I correct them on our address. My husband emails Mandy to confirm the booking and enquires about the other agents valuing our house.
@ 12:59 YourMove respond and advises her that the valuation has been booked. They correct her on the address.
01/03/2013 – Mandy informs us that it will only be YourMove valuing the property and she is still in negotiations with Blundells. We never hear anything from Blundells.
07/06/2013 – After YourMove visit our property my husband speaks to Mandy about the upgraded sales package – a package which Mike from YourMove recommended. She agrees to pay for the upgraded package at a cost of £225 + vat. He sends an email on this day to enquire about payment for the upgrade package.
08/06/2013 – Mandy responds and advises that we don’t pay anything and YourMove need to invoice Keepmoat. My husband emails YourMove to advise and they send a return email advising they will sort with Keepmoat.
12/06/2013 – My husband sends an email to Mandy to chase up progress as our property is still not on the market.
13/06/2013 – Vanessa Burling (Sales Director for Keepmoat Yorkshire) enters notes on COINS asking to chase us up. But there is no explanation of what for.
15/06/2013 – Mandy advises by return email that she can not get hold of YourMove via phone so is sending an email.
– I send an email back stressing the urgency of getting the matter sorted as YourMove have given the impression if payment by Keepmoat is not made by the following Monday our property will not be marketed.
– Mandy responds and is surprised the house is still not on the market.
– My husband calls Mandy and she mentions that we need to pay for the EPC and reclaim the cost through Keepmoat – something that had not been mentioned previously.
16/06/2013 – My husband emails YourMove to tell them of this new information regarding the payment of the EPC. He asks them to contact him as soon as possible in regards to payment so we can get our house marketed.
17/06/2013 – Emails are sent between my husband and YourMove confirming details about getting our house marketed.
18/06/2013 – My husband sends an email to Mandy updating her on progress and that in order to get things moving we have asked YourMove to list our property under the basic package until the upgraded package is paid for.
– My husband receives a call from YourMove asking him to pay for the upgraded package, Keepmoat have still not paid for it.
19/06/2013 – My husband forwards on the email from Mandy to the Estate Agents confirming that Keepmoat Homes will pay the fee. The EA confirms receipt.
20/06/2013 – Many sends an email advising that she is arranging for another EA to view our property as she can’t believe how long it is taking to sort out.
– My husband sends replies that the house has finally appeared on YourMove, Right Move and Zoopla’s website the day before. But our house has just been listed under a standard listing, not with the upgraded features. My husband suggests as an alternative solution to just pay the EA for the upgraded package and then claim back through Keepmoat as the payment seems to be the big issue causing the problems. He gives her his mobile number (although she has this anyway) and asks her to call him if needed.
– Mandy now states that Keepmoat won’t pay for the upgraded package and we need to pay for this ourselves.
– I now send a return email as I’m pretty frustrated that we have wasted 3 weeks messing about. If we had know that Keepmoat would no longer pay the upgraded package we could have had our house on the market weeks earlier, as I believe that this was what was causing the problem. Keepmoat’s Accounts Department will only pay for the basic package but YourMove are trying to get payment for the upgraded package – hence the delay and problems the EA is having with Keepmoat paying.
– Mandy denies ever agreeing to the upgrade package.
– We do not respond.
@ 14:14 Mandy emails to advise they will now pay the upgrade package because of the “messing around and confusion”. Not because she previously agreed to pay for it.
– We, however, still have to pay for the package and have the amount refunded to us.
@15:08 Mandy emails Reeds Rains about doing a valuation for us, she gives them our correct address but misses a digit off the beginning of our number, however, most Sheffield numbers begin with 2 so it was an easy guess for Reeds Rains.
21/06/2013 – Reeds Rains contact us to arrange a time to view the property. I relay this information to Mandy and ask whether this is just for a valuation or for them to also market the property.
22/06/2013 – Mandy advises that Reeds Rains are just doing a valuation.
– I ask her to cancel this as it seems pointless at this point. She fails to cancel it even though she acknowledges my email.
24/06/2013 – (or there abouts) – Our house disappears off all property websites such as RightMove, etc. My husband speaks to YourMove who solve the problem and get our house back on the websites in question but they do not know why it disappeared.
Unknown Date after 08/07/2013 – Some notes are made in COINS but these have been redacted.
15/07/2013 – Note entered on to COINS by Vanessa Burling – queries why we need to sell.
15/07/2013 – Some notes are made in COINS but these have been redacted.
18/07/2013 – Note entered on to COINS by Vanessa Burling – asking if chain is complete.
– We accept a fairly low offer of £85k but only after Keepmoat agree to pay Stamp Duty.
19/07/2013 – Email from my husband to Mandy to confirm that we accepted the offer the previous day. He also advises her that we are using our own solicitors.
20/07/2013 – Note entered on to COINS by Mandy Binns- Keepmoat Homes Head Office have agreed to pay stamp duty because of the low offer we received. She also notes that Keepmoat have offered to cover upgraded YourMove package. She also sends us an email advising that because their Head Office have agreed to Stamp Duty we might have to use their recommended solicitor – this was not mentioned before. It was subsequently not mentioned again.
03/08/2013 – Mandy calls to ask us to come into the sale office to make our kitchen selection. We have until the following Monday 05/08/2013 to pick the kitchen otherwise they will choose for us. On very short notice we manage to come into the sales office over the weekend.
04/08/2013 – Mandy notes in COINS that we are to come in today to pick the kitchen.
12/08/2013 – The house purchase is now going into my husbands name only so we revisit the sales office to get a new reservation form as this is need for the mortgage. She prints off a reservation form, he notices that this still has my name on and the incorrect solicitors details on. She reprints the form, removing my details and changing the solicitor to Wilford Smith. My husband doesn’t look too closely at the form as it should just be a duplicate but with my name removed and the correct solicitor. We don’t realise until after this whole saga is over that the first line of our address has been changed, the first digit of our home phone number has been missed off and the last 3 digits of my husband’s mobile have been deleted. This new form contains details which were not on the original form, one of these is the Annual Management fee of £175. Although my husband did sign this form he did it in good faith as Mandy knew we just needed a duplicate copy of the original minus my details. Yes, he should have checked more closely but I believe she should have made him aware that he was not just merely signing a duplicate minus my details and the addition of our solicitors details.
16/08/2013 – The PlumLife form for the Help to Buy is sent to our solicitor, us and Keepmoat’s solicitor. This has our correct current address on.
24/08/2013 – The road which leads to Plot 42 is partially opened up so we can finally take a good look at how the build is progressing. At this point we notice that the house is the opposite way round to what is expected and is therefore missing 4 windows. This means that what should be an external bathroom with window is now internal with no window. Plus instead of two there is now only one window in each of the following rooms; Living Room, Master Bedroom and Kitchen.
25/08/2013 – My husband emails Mandy to advise that Plot 42 “differs substantially and detrimentally from all brochures, documents, artists impressions and the show home”. He requests to see all available information regarding this plot in order to see if any modifications can be made/to see if we still what to go ahead with the purchase. He specially requests the following “copies of all available documentation for plot 42, including floor plans, wiring diagrams, plumbing diagrams, appliance installation and ventilation”.
29/08/2013 – Mandy responds and seems a little confused. She advises that we have not done the plot schedule and when are we available to do this as this is when we go through the plans, etc.
NOTE: This is the first time the words “plot schedule” are mentioned to us. There are no previous emails from her, or notes in COINS which refer to a plot schedule before the 29/08/2013.
My husband is surprised that Mandy seems unaware of the problem we are referring to. Quoted from the email “As it seems you are either not aware, or have omitted the information, I would suggest going into the bathroom of plot 42 and see how far the window opens.”
30/08/2013 – She replies to advise that the reason it is like this is because the house is in a block of three. And because it is in a block of three we lose 2 windows – one in the Bathroom and one in the Master Bedroom. She is unaware that a window is missing in the Kitchen and Living Room.
NOTE: All the other Loxleys which are in a block of three have windows to the side, see photos here (takes you to home page with photos) and site plan here:
She also states the following “Sometimes when you buy off plan then look at a show house you automatically think it is the same but our literature does state that it does not bind or imply that the layout will be as indicated and as I mentioned to you this is when I book you in to do the plot schedule.”
NOTE: When we reserved there was no showhome to view. We based our initial idea that the house would have the door near the party wall and windows to the side based on the drawings and brochure we were shown. However, when we did visit the showhome Mandy advised us that it was just like ours, it was “even the same way round and everything”. The showhome was at the end of a block terraces, on the right hand-side looking from the road. The house we reserved was also at the end of a block terraces on the right hand-side when looking from the road.
The sales literature states this “These measurements should not be used for the purchase of carpets and curtains. All dimensions are + or – 50mm and floor plans are not shown to scale. Electrical, plumbing and kitchen layouts are available from the Sales Information Centre. These particulars do not wholly or in part constitute a contract or agreement and are for general guidance only. Artists impressions are used for illustrations purposes only. Elevations, external treatments, chimneys, brick, roof tile colour and window positions may vary. Please see our Home Sales Executive for full specification and plot details of this development.”
The Home Sales Executive (Mandy) only every showed us the brochure (which included an artist’s impression and a floorplan), she made no mention that Plot 42 differed from this brochure. She never told us the full specification or plot details at reservation, we thought that we had been given the full details we needed (we have never bought off-plan before). After conversing with several people, including our mortgage advisor, it seems standard practice for most house builders to go through the individual plot details for the home you are reserving at the time of reservation not after.
Also as part of the Consumer Code for Home Builders and Consumer Protection Regulations we should have been given accurate information to base our purchase decision on before we made a reservation not after. When or how the Plot Schedule is done is irrelevant because the key information of the plot should have been provided at the start.
She advises that she will need to know ASAP as to whether we want the house as she needs to know whether to cancel the upgraded kitchen or not. We are told we can see the house Monday and only Monday, the 02/09/2013.
31/08/2013 – We visit Mandy at the sales office to discuss the mis-selling of Plot 42. She reiterates the block of three argument, I get up off the chair and point to the site map opposite her desk. I pointed out that all the other Loxleys which are in a block of three have windows to the side – she did not react well to being made to look foolish and becomes aggressive. We query why we were not shown the plot schedule sooner. According to Mandy it is just the way things are done. When I query why she did not notify us of this major difference she advises us that she does not have time to go through all the individual plots.
– My husband decides to return to the sale office a few minutes later with a copy of the Property Mis-descriptions Act. We had this with us but we hoped we would not need it but after the conversation with Mandy we thought may it would help nudge Keepmoat into taking a little more responsibility and coming up with a solution to the problem. He placed it on her desk and advised her that it was for her manager and not for her to worry about before leaving. We hoped someone higher up in the chain might see the seriousness of mis-selling a house.
– No notes are made on COINS about this meeting.
02/09/2013 – We go to the Brearley Forge site to see the house. We meet with Suzanne Gagen, the Sales Manager and Mandy Merrin (nee Binns). Suzanne tries to use the block of three argument as justification for why the house is different, I again go up to the site plan and point out why this does not make sense. Suzanne takes even less well to this than Mandy and starts shouting at me.
Suzanne says to Mandy that Mandy has asked us to do the plot schedule several times. Mandy agrees with Suzanne, her superior, and proceeds to tell us that she had been asking us to do the plot schedule.
Suzanne is very patronising and lays the blame with us for not doing the plot schedule sooner. She states that we should have done it within 2 weeks of reservation, but this then changes to after we have sold the house because we are doing EasyKey. She is advised that we had found a buyer mid July. So she asks us why we had not done it yet? We respond and tell her that we didn’t know that we had to do a plot schedule. We had never even heard of the term plot schedule until a few days earlier.
We see the house but I find it hard to really take it in as I am so upset. I end up going to the back of the house and breaking down in tears.
Towards the end of the meeting Suzanne again refers to the reason for the missing windows is because it is in a block of three. I’m sure that she is fully aware this is not true but repeats the statement as if it is fact. I think Suzanne was using tactics to make us doubt ourselves and withdraw our complaint, such as:
- Attempting to make us feel unintelligent
- Referring to untruths as if they are facts
- Claiming that she is “just stating facts”
- Aggressive behaviour
- Insisting that the plot is very nice compared to the others
Please see the following for a recording of the conversation.
NOTES: As you can see from the timeline and emails contained within this website the term “plot schedule” is only used after we realise we have been mis-sold the house. No notes with COINS and no emails mention the term prior to us noticing the mis-selling. The recording from the previous meeting with Mandy makes no mention of repeatedly asking us to do a plot schedule and us refusing.
02/09/2013 – Vanessa Burling, the Sales Director, calls my husband and offers to paint the walls white as this will help with lighting and to reimburse our kitchen upgrade (we paid £550 for a different unit/worktop style and a 3 draw pan unit to be fitted near the fridge-freezer). We also thought she offered to install a SolarTube in the bathroom free of charge. Or she will reimburse our out of pocket expenses so far.
02/09/2013 – My husband advises Vanessa that we need a little time to think about whether we want to go ahead with the purchase. I will still shaken at this time from the what had happened. He advised her that I was sending a complaint to her.
– I send a complaint email to Vanessa Burling along with a copy of the recordings made – she never responds to my complaint letter. However, we know from our Subject Access Request that she received it. I make a request in this that after the aggressive and patronising behaviour of their staff that I would like to deal with a different sales office, I suggest their Amaranthus site as this is also in S5.
– Notes logged in COINS by Mandy about the meeting on the 31/08/2013, no notes are logged about the meeting we had on 02/09/2013. The notes contain several inaccuracies, a few are noted below:
- She acknowledge us when we walked through the door – she ignored us
- She previously asked us on several occasions to do a plot schedule but could not due to childcare issues – never happened
- My husband apologised for the way we spoke to her – he did not, why would he?
- I made remarks about her as I walked out the door, again incorrect.
Mandy also describes me as “in a huff” and “very abrupt and nasty”. She also says that she was “upset and shaken of how we were”. The recordings are here of the conversation, so you can make your own mind up:
Notes: I find it interesting that it took her several days to make notes of the of the conversation and interesting that there are no notes of the conversation with herself and Suzanne on the 02/09/2013. She and Suzanne were informed of the conversations being recorded and even with this information in mind Mandy’s version of what happened does not tally with the recordings.
02/09/2013 – Email is sent from Mandy Merrin to Vanessa Burling and Suzanne Gagen. She states she has another customer, a Matthew Wilkinson*, who is interested in the plot. The customer has a mortgage in principle and he has been advised that the price for the plot may have increased. Mandy writes that she will let him know by Thursday, 05/09/2013, if the plot is available or not.
NOTES: *Name changed to protect identity. Once a house is reserved a house builder can not enter into another reservation or sale agreement with another customer whilst the reservation is still valid.
03/09/2013 – Keepmoat’s solicitors, Atherton Godfrey, send a letter to our solicitors – I do not know what was contained in the letter as our solicitor never received a copy nor was a copy sent with our SAR.
04/09/2013 – Keepmoat’s solicitors send another letter to our solicitors. This letter contains several documents and a CD of information required for my husband to go ahead with the purchase. This includes a copy of the contract, a copy of the August Reservation Form amongst other documents. The letter states that our option to purchase the plot expires on the 27th of September. It goes on to state that the Anticipated Legal Date will be September but this date should not be relied upon and may change. But they will keep our solicitor updated on the time-scale for completion. This letter is not received by our solicitor.
05/09/2013 @ 11:45 – An email is sent from Mandy Merrin to Vanessa Burling asking her what decision we have come to. She states she has her “prospect” asking as he is very interested in Plot 42.
– @11.46 Vanessa responds to Mandy and copies on Suzanne to tell her that “We can’t do anything yet -”
– Vanessa calls my husband as she needs to know whether we have come to a decision yet. He advises her that we still want to go ahead with the purchase. I was not happy as I wanted a response to my complaint before agreeing but my husband believed that Vanessa would put the house back on the market if he did not say yes to buying the house.
@ 16.43 – Vanessa emails Mandy and Suzanne to advise that we are going ahead with the sale.
06/09/2013 – My husband has already spoken to our solicitor about the issue of the mis-selling. He advises my husband to clarify in writing. My husband emails our solictor copies of the layout plan we saw. Our solicitor responds and advises my husband to contact Vanessa to request that she puts her offer in writing.
My husband emails Vanessa and asks her to put her offer in writing to our solicitor, he gives her our solicitor’s email address to do so.
Our solicitor never receives any contact from Vanessa Burling about the offer of reimbursement of the kitchen upgrade, the use of white paint internally and the installation of a Solar Tube.
08/09/2013 @ 10:00 – We visit the Amaranthus site to do the Plot Schedule. We are greeted by Stephanie Maier. Cheryl Brown was also present. We are shown the full plot layout.
– @ 11:37 – Email from Stephanie Maier to Suzanne Gagen about our visit and our request to see inside the house again. The emails finish with this, “They were fine and I never mentioned any issues. Hope this is ok”. We do not know what issues she is referring to as there are no other emails or COINS which put light to this. Consequently we also do not know why she did not mention these issues.
09/09/2013 – @ 10:40 Stephanie emails Mandy. “… And thanks for the black cassette you saved the day!”
NOTES: I would have thought that this means they recorded the previous plot schedule meeting. Although it could be something unrelated.
@ 14:16 Stephanie attempts to email my husband to inform us that we will have to wait to visit the house again because the Site Manager is on holiday. The email mentions that the paperwork we signed is available for us to collect at the Amaranthus site. We do not get this email as she sent the email to the wrong email address. The email address is, however, a valid email address and belongs to someone else. The email is also copied to Mandy and Suzanne – neither notice the incorrect email address.
– Notes made on COINS by Stephanie about the email she sent.
– A note or notes were made after this but have been redacted. The next time notes appear without redacting is the 01/10/2013
@ 16:50 – An email is sent from Mandy to Stephanie, it seems to be referring to a previous email but we have no record of it. The emails states “Yes I saw it the start of things to come I think LOL!”
@ 17:26 – Steph responds with “Hi yes, I think so…” The rest of the email is about the visit my husband made to the Amaranthus site.
12/09/2013 – Our buyer pulls out citing personal reasons, we are advised this by our Estate Agent YourMove. Keepmoat make no contact. My husband makes a trip to the sales office on the following Monday afternoon with his Mother. They are told that we have until Thursday morning (19/09/2013) to find a new buyer or the house is going back on the market. It is already late on Monday afternoon when we find this out so we effectively have only two days to find a buyer. We find a new buyer but the offer is much less than the asking price so we have to arrange to borrow money to cover the deposit for the new house. The offer amount of 81k only covers our outstanding mortgage and early repayment fee. It is a hard decision to make, take a ridiculously low offer and keep the house sale going or lose the house. Trying to make this decision in such a short time frame just adds to the pressure.
Notes: See The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, Part 2 – Aggressive commercial practices,
Aggressive commercial practices
(1) A commercial practice is aggressive if, in its factual context, taking account of all of its features and circumstances—
(a) it significantly impairs or is likely significantly to impair the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct in relation to the product concerned through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence; and
(b) it thereby causes or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.
(2) In determining whether a commercial practice uses harassment, coercion or undue influence account shall be taken of—
(a) its timing, location, nature or persistence;
(b) the use of threatening or abusive language or behaviour;
(c) the exploitation by the trader of any specific misfortune or circumstance of such gravity as to impair the consumer’s judgement, of which the trader is aware, to influence the consumer’s decision with regard to the product;
(d) any onerous or disproportionate non-contractual barrier imposed by the trader where a consumer wishes to exercise rights under the contract, including rights to terminate a contract or to switch to another product or another trader; and
(e) any threat to take any action which cannot legally be taken.
(3) In this regulation—
(a) “coercion” includes the use of physical force; and
(b) “undue influence” means exploiting a position of power in relation to the consumer so as to apply pressure, even without using or threatening to use physical force, in a way which significantly limits the consumer’s ability to make an informed decision.
18/09/2013 – We accept the offer of 81k and advise the buyer to aim for completion within 5 weeks. We have not been updated on when the house will be ready but we are expecting soon as it should have been ready in September. We know that the purchaser is buying to let and is not selling anything so we thought a 5 week time-scale would be realistic. Vanessa contacts us to ask about the buyer – she is advised to speak to the EA to confirm his details. She is also advised that we have told the buyer to aim for a 5 week completion deadline. After this phone call Vanessa speaks to the EA, YourMove. She at no point tells us when the house will be ready or any completion deadline.
19/09/2013 – Email from Mandy to Vanessa and Suzanne about our new buyer. This email states that plot 42 will be completed in October.
– Email from Mandy to YourMove. She is asking for price agreed and time-scale of completion. It follows on to say that the house will complete in October. She refers to us using our name and address – except that she gets our address wrong, even though the EA has previously corrected her and gave her the correct address on 30/05/2013.
We nor our solicitor receive any communication from Keepmoat or any of Keepmoat representatives about completing in October.
– YourMove email back to advise that “We are aiming towards a 5 week turn around for exchange and completion.” Mandy forwards this email onto Vanessa and Suzanne
NOTES: Note the words “aiming”. If we had known a completion date then we would have advised our buyer and solicitor of this. Later on Keepmoat claim they gave us 5 weeks notice to complete – if this is true why are they asking what the time-scale of completion is? Surely they already know?
23/09/2013 – Vanessa emails Mandy to chase up with Steve (the Site Manager) “re: the light tube for the bathroom?” This email is also copied in to Steve and Suzanne.
24/09/2013 @ 11.15 – Email from Suzanne to Steve Spencer (Site Manager) CC to Lee Elsey (Contracts Manager) she is asking for a price for the light tunnel to the bathroom and the interior to be painted white as soon as possible as the plot is due for completion next month.
@ 11:59 – Lee responds “This will cost a fortune are the client’s exchanged yet? If the tunnel is agreed this would have to be done retrospectively… Let me know on the xchange side”.
05/10/2013 – My husband visits the Amaranthus site to collect the paperwork. He was expecting an email from Stephanie about this paperwork but never received it. He popped in to collect it. She is querying some of the refunds owed to us.
07/10/2013 @12:27 – Email from Mandy to Stephanie to tell her all the notes are on COINS. She ends the email with the following “…now they are such lovely people”
NOTES: In case you have forgotten I refer back to Mandy’s previous comments about me. Mandy describes me as “in a huff” and “very abrupt and nasty”, therefore it can be taken that this comment is sarcastic.
@ 12.29 – Stephanie responds with she never thought to look in COINS. She goes on to write “…my head is a Shed looking after Cutlers and Amaranthus and then him coming in!…”
NOTES: We were surprised at Stephanie’s response as she had always seemed nice to us when ever we visited the site.
10/10/2013 – Vanessa notifies us that they will not be fitting a Solar Tube. The original offer of fitting a Solar Tube was made on 02/09/2013. We believed at the time this was an offer to fit a Solar Tube free of charge, Vanessa tell us she was just looking into the possibility of fitting it. It has taken 38 days to decide not to offer the Solar Tube and notify us of this decision, even though 16 days earlier Suzanne was notified that it would “cost a fortune”. Vanessa offers a much cheaper alternative of LED lights in the bathroom instead. We ask Vanessa if we can look at the plot again.
– Stephanie calls us and arranges us to view the plot on the 17th of October.
14/10/2013 – Email from Mandy to YourMove, Stephanie was copied in. Asking for an update as “they are due to complete on the 25th of this month”
15/10/2013 – My husband has been emailing Vanessa about the Solar Tube since we found out they would not be supplying in one. He sends her one last email about this issue because she had previously offered to reimburse our expenses if we pulled out of the purchase. He asks her “would I be correct in assuming that your other offer of reimbursing my out of pocket expenses if I chose to withdraw from the sale was also misguided?”
15/10/2013 – Notes made by Lynn Wade in COINS. It states that “cs faxed asked keelie to get an update from sols on purchase, reminded of lc dl of 31/10”. She goes on to mention that Sue is chasing YourMove tommorow.
NOTES: Not sure what CS refers to, LC = Legal Completion, DL = Deadline. Lynn states that she will get Keelie to remind our solicitors of the deadline of the 31st. Except they can not remind our solicitor of something he never knew about in the first place.
16/10/2013 – Fax sent from Atherton Godfrey (Keepmoat’s solicitors) to our solicitors (Wilford Smith), they send it to our solicitor’s criminal department not the conveyancing department so there is a delay in them receiving the message. The fax states they have had no response to previous letters sent on the 3rd an 4th of September and it awaits an acknowledgement. The legal date for completion is the 31st.
NOTES: Our solicitor never received any communication from the 3rd and 4th September. Atherton Godfrey have waited since the 3rd of September until the 16th of October to chase a response (43 days). The completion date specified in the September response is 27th of September. They have waited 19 days to chase up why we did not complete on the 27th.
@ 09:00 – Vanessa responds to my husband’s query about the out of pocket expenses. She states she will reimburse the reservation fee, survey fee and solicitors fee. She goes on to say “Please let me know a.s.a.p. (by this Thursday) if you wish to proceed or not”. This Thursday is in fact tomorrow – again Vanessa is pressuring us to make a decision.
NOTES: If everything is so time critical why do they leave everything to the last minute? Surely they could have told us sooner about not fitting the Solar Tube?
17/10/2013 – We visit Plot 42 Brearley Forge as we want to look around the plot with a clear head. We arrange childcare for about half an hour as we are not expecting to be long. It turns out that we are doing a “Home Tour” – this is where they show you round the whole house and how to use everything such as the boiler. It took at least two hours. The 3 drawer unit which we paid extra for is not in the position originally agreed and is not a 3 draw unit either (4 draw unit). When we query this Stephanie advises us that maybe that because what the builders thought we wanted – we specified to Mandy we wanted a 3 drawer pan unit. Steve said that the reason they could fit the unit in the desired position was because of the size of the other units. When asked why they had not notified us of the change in position the Site Manager Steve advised that normally the Sales Office do this.
Stephanie mentions about us being excited as we are near to completion – we are surprised as nobody has told us anything about a completion date. She also seems surprised that nobody had told us when we had to complete by. She checks the paper work she has in front of her and advises that the completion date is the 25th. She decides to double check the date and later we are told that it is the 31st.
The house has still not been signed off and Steve anticipates that it will be signed off next week.
– Note in COINS from Lynn Wade – our solicitors are not coming back to them. Lynn Wade also emails Mandy to ask her to chase the EA for a progress update.
– Mandy makes notes in COINS after speaking to YourMove “Karen says she spoke to the solicitors and they were dragging their heals said they would not be ready for 25th would try for the 30th…she thought the time scales would be hard to achieve…there are a few people who could proceed for this plot straight away”
– Vanessa emails us to chase up our solicitor as they have not had a response from them. We forward the email onto our solicitor.
18/10/13 – Lynn Wade states in COINS that Keelie has had no response from our solicitor.
– Our solicitor advises us that he has received the fax but no communication from September. He has already spoken to Keepmoat’s solicitors and told them that the completion date of the 31st is impossible. Searches have only just gone on the house we are selling and they take 3 weeks to come back so this will be after the 31st. He advises us to relax and the only reason they want to complete by then is that this is probably Keepmoat’s end of year. He says that threatening to pull of of the sale it is just a tactic that is used to hurry us along. The Estate Agent and our Mortgage Advisor also think that Keepmoat won’t pull out the sale – it is something that none of them have ever known happen.
23/10/13 – Again Lynn Wade states in COINS that no communication from our solicitor. A fax in sent from Atherton Godfrey to our solicitors chasing a response.
23/10/13 – Karen from YourMove calls my husband. She has been contacted by Suzanne Gagen who has advises that Keepmoat will pull of the sale if we do not complete by the 31st. Karen tells my husband that she has already spoken to both solicitors before calling. My husband tells her that he has already spoken to our solicitor and we can not speed things up.
24/10/2013 – Karen calls us again as she has again be called by Suzanne about the 31st deadline. My husband sends an email to his solicitor, YourMove and Suzanne to let them all know that we have everything in place from our end (we are waiting on our buyers) and we request that our solicitor keeps in touch with Keepmoat.
– Our solicitor responds to the email and reiterates what has been said before – we are good to go on the purchase of the Keepmoat house but our buyer is waiting on searches.
23/10/2013 – Keepmoat Homes solictor, Atherton Godfrey, faxes a letter to our solicitor to chase a response.
24/10/2013 – Atherton Godfrey writes to our solicitor again this time enclosing a completion statement.
– Note in COINS by Suzanne Gagen. She has spoke to Karen at YourMove she has been advised by her that she does not believe it will complete on the 31st. Suzanne tells Karen it has to.
25/10/13 – Lynn Wade states in COINS no response from our solicitor.
29/10/13 – Suzanne again contacts Karen at YourMove chasing the sale. Suzanne is fully aware that when the searches come back is out of our hands. It is starting to feel like harassment. She knows we can’t do anything but insists on chasing us via YourMove anyway.
– My husband emails Karen with some information from Keepmoat’s website about the buying process as Keepmoat are not following their own guidelines. He also advises Karen that Keepmoat have been aware for sometime that it is impossible to complete on the 31st and that it is our of our hands.
The email includes this, from Keepmoat’s website:
“STEP 4 Build Completion
Many customers like to see their home during construction. This can be arranged through your Home Sales Executive. However, there will be times when, for health and safety reasons, a specific appointment will need to be made.
Around five to six weeks before your home is finished you will be notified of an anticipated legal completion date. This is normally within 7 – 14 days of construction ending. At that point a home demonstration will also be arranged to show you how the heating system, kitchen appliances etc. work.
Your home will undergo thorough quality inspections both internally and externally, to ensure that it meets our quality standards. It will also be subject to several inspections by the National House Building Council (NHBC) who will issue a Buildmark Warranty on completion. You will be given the NHBC documentation explaining this warranty.’”
NOTES: I have highlighted a section in this myself that contradicts what happened with us. They organised a home demonstration without giving us five to six weeks notice of legal completion. One does not happen without the other. Keepmoat knew in September that the house would be ready in October but for some reason did not tell us this. If they give five to six weeks notice this must mean they believe this is adequate notice to complete. Therefore when they gave us two weeks notice they must have known this was inadequate and would have been very difficult or impossible to achieve.
30/10/13 – Notes entered in COINS by Lynn Wade. Keelie still not heard anything from our solicitor and is going to fax them. Instead a letter is sent.
– Note entered again by Lynn – “Keelie given to 2pm thurs 31/10 or we resell”
NOTES: Our solicitor has always responded to our queries and has spoken to YourMove on more than one occasion but Keepmoat say he has never responded to them. We have previously used Wilford Smith when we bought our first and current home. Both my Father/Mother in Law have used them twice, my Sister in Law has used their services twice and my Brother in Law once. None of us have had any problems with communication or reason to complain about the service given. However I am sure Keepmoat Homes will say the same about their solicitors Atherton Godfrey.
31/10/2013 @ 15.52 – Email from Lynn Wade to Suzanne Gagen, Mandy Merrin, Stephanie Maier, Mark Knight and Vanessa Burling to advise them to contact the EA and us to confirm they have re-marketed the plot.
@ 16:18 – Email from Stephanie to Mandy. “Just receive the e mail about plot 42 what a shame!”.
– A letter is sent to our solicitor confirming that the plot will now be re-marketed.
01/11/2013 Friday @10:13 – Email sent from Stephanie Maier to advise us that that Keepmoat have had no choice but to re-market the plot. The email is sent to the wrong email address so we are not notified that they have followed through with re-marketing. The email is also sent to Suzanne Gagen, Lynn Wade and Mandy Merrin. No one notices the incorrect email address. Keepmoat still have our reservation fee of £250 and make no attempt to refund it.
@ 10:16 – Email from Stephanie to Mandy. She writes that she has emailed us and copied her in. She goes on to say, although she thinks it will have already been resold “what about Nicki, they are desperate!”
NOTES: I find the use of a first name only suggests that this is someone they both know.
@ 10:19 – Lynn Wade to Mandy, Stephanie, also CC to Suzanne, Mark and Vanessa – Lynn asks if the Estate Agent and my husband has been informed “of this cancellation”.
@ 10:22 – Stephanie emails back to advise that she has sent an email to us and that Suzanne and Mandy will contact the Estate Agent. She also asks Lynn to check the email that she sent to us.
@10:25 – Lynn Wade checks the email and OKs it even with the incorrect email address on.
@ 13:57 – Mandy to Stephanie. “Have you sent the customer the email lol?”
@ 13:59 – Stephanie to Mandy. She replies she has sent the email.
@ 10:19 Email from Lynn Wade to Mandy and Stephanie asking whether they have informed us and YourMove.
@ 10:21 – Reply from Stephanie to advise she has informed us and that Suzanne and Mandy will speak to YourMove. She also asks her to check the email to us.
@ 10:23 Lynn Wade emails Tom Fenton at the Sheffield Housing Company. “…to make you aware we have cancelled of Mr Simmons from this plot.. …we have had numerous issues with Mr Simmons… …we followed through yesterday and cancelled his reservation via his solicitors…” She goes on to say that their Home Sale Executives have contacted both us and the Estate Agent to advise of this.
NOTES: I have highlighted the relevant sections in the emails from Lynn Wade. Keepmoat can not cancel our reservation as per the Consumer Code for Home Builders. Combine the word cancelled being used three times and the incredibly unrealistic two week deadline I believe this is exactly what Keepmoat did, Keepmoat Homes CANCELLED the reservation. The Sheffield Housing Company are the partnership between Keepmoat Homes and Sheffield Council.
@ 15:58 – Stephanie to Mandy. “…Not heard a word…”
@ 16:26 – Mandy to Stephanie, “…Now there is a surprise no doubt they will be hatching a plan of some sorts!!”
@ 16:44 – Stephanie to Mandy, “Yes I think you could be right! Seems funny”
NOTES: We did not respond to the first email she sent us in September and she now thinks it is odd what we do not reply to the second. Yet she does not double check the email address she sent the email to. I am also asking myself at this stage did she accidentally type the wrong email address or was she given the wrong email address by someone? Why did no one notice? Why did Lynn Wade, their Legal Executive, who was asked to double check the email not notice? If Mandy and Stephanie thought it was weird that we hadn’t responded then surely all the other Keepmoat staff involved also thought it was odd?
05/11/2013 Tuesday – My husband receives a call from YourMove they are chasing progress with the purchase. My husband advises her that he has responded to some queries raised by the buyers solicitor yesterday. She then says she will speak all parties and get back to us.
– Karen from YourMove calls back to advise that the house as been re-sold, this is the first time we and YourMove are aware of this. Karen is surprised as she has not been notified. She says she spoke to Suzanne who says that the plot was re-sold on Wednesday and we were emailed about it. My husband tells Karen that no email has been received from Keepmoat, in fact we have received no direct communication since the 17th when we visited the plot. She speaks to Suzanne again to tell her that we have not received an email, Suzanne insists the email was sent to us as she was copied into it.
We are shocked at this point because our Solicitor, Mortgage Advisor and the Estate Agent all thought that Keepmoat were just using tactics to hurry the sale along. The fact that it had all gone quiet since the 29th made us think that what everyone had been telling us was true – that it was all just tactics. After the initial shock it felt like they had twisted the knife, they knew we could not complete by the 31st on the 16th of October yet they still let us do a home tour of the plot on the 17th. We had a chance to see how everything worked, how the kitchen and tiles looked – we had started to count our chickens. It felt like they were getting our hopes up knowing that it would hurt even more when they sold the plot to someone else. We had these feelings even before we had done the Subject Access Request, which is why we were not surprised by the emails between Stephanie and Mandy showing their enjoyment that we could not complete on time.
NOTE: Keepmoat are paying YourMove to market our property and it seems odd that they did not notify them of the re-marketing.
– My husband emails our solicitor to ask what is happening.
06/11/2013 – Our solicitor emails back to confirm that the last he heard from Keepmoat was that the property was to be re-marketed. He heard from Karen the previous day that they had actually re-sold it. He said that he told Karen he would contact Keepmoat’s solicitors – which he did and is waiting to hear back from them.
– My husband calls our solicitor and asks why he was not notified of the re-sale. He says that the reason he did not notify us was because it was standard practice for the home builder to so he thought we already knew.
07/11/2013 – Our solicitor replies and advises us that he has spoken to Keepmoat’s solicitor. She has just checked her post and Keepmoat have resold the the house over the weekend. He goes on to say “She says that Keepmoat may reinstate the sale to you if exchange can take place quickly. I really need to speak to Mike to answer the questions raised by your buyers solicitor.”
We are now in race to see who can complete first.
20/11/2013 – @ 9:07 – Our solicitor emails us to advise that our buyers mortgage offer is coming through and we should approach Keepmoat about the cancelled plot.
@ 14:07 – I email Vanessa to ask if she will reinstate the plot.
@ 16:21 – She advises us that that the plot has been re-sold.
@ 16:16 – I send a return email and remind her that she has not refunded us our deposit, (by this point me and my husband have read a copy of the Consumer Code for Home Builders) “…My understanding is that you have no other Loxleys available at this time, therefore we are unable to choose another plot.
Since you have not refunded us our deposit our reservation is still valid. Therefore can you explain why you will not sell it to us? I draw your attention to the following from the Consumer Code of Conduct for Home Builders
“The Reservation fee must be reimbursed if the Reservation agreement is cancelled.”
“While the Reservation agreement is in force, the Home Builder must not enter into a new Reservation agreement or sale agreement with another customer”
@ 17:50 – Vanessa Burling emails to advise that the new purchaser for Plot 42 is due to legally complete next week and would we like to select an alternative plot. “If there is an alternative property that you are interested in we can transfer your reservation fee to this plot to secure it, if not we will arrange for the fee to be reimbursed”
@ 18:36 – We acknowledge that Keepmoat will not be selling the house although we do raise the question again of them still having our reservation fee and selling the plot to someone else. They at this point have had two lots of £250.00 to reserve plot 42.
21/11/2013 – We receive communication from Keepmoat solicitors about the previous day’s emails. I have cut down the letter to the most important paragraphs “You will see from our first letter of 4th September, our confirmation that your client’s option period expired on 27th September.
As the above date was not achieved our client granted an extension of the deadline to the 31st October 2013. Such deadline was confirmed in our letter of 16th October, a copy of which is enclosed. You will also see that we at that time still awaited your acknowledgement of our contract package sent to you on 4th September 2013.”
The letter goes onto mention the other correspondence sent on the 23rd, 24th, and 30th of October which they state they never had a reply to. They then write that they wrote to our solicitor on the 31st and that Keepmoat emailed my husband on the 1st November to confirm that they were re-marketing the property, they also enclose a copy of the email sent.
The letter goes onto to say that Atherton Godfrey received no communication from our solicitor until after the house had been resold and that we had “sufficient opportunity to proceed with their purchase of this property” .
NOTES: Our solicitor insists that after receiving the fax on the 16th October he contacted Atherton Godfrey to advise that the 2 week completion deadline was unachievable because the searches would not come back in time for the house we were selling. He also states that he never received any communication from September, the first communication he received from them was on the 16th of October. Atherton Godfrey on the other hand insist that he never contacted them until November – after the house had been resold.
The fax on the 16th also states that a letter was sent on 3rd, now just a letter on the 4th of September is mentioned. They state they gave us a 5 week extension but admit they did not notify us of this until 3 weeks into the extension.
The email they send a copy of has never been seen before by us as it was not sent to my husband. Yet this email is still used to confirm that they notified us that the house was to be re-marketed.
@ 21:52 – My husband sends an email to Vanessa to ask several questions, at this point we want answers. My husband notes the response from their solicitor but advises them that it was not required as the questions raised related to Keepmoat’s breaking of the Consumer Code of Home Builders. A matter that Keepmoat should be handling not their solicitor.
22/11/2013 – My husband posts on Keepmoat’s Facebook page a link to our newly published website and a request for them to look into our complaint as we seem to be getting no where with Vanessa.
25/11/2013 – Mark Knight, Keepmoat Homes Regional Managing Director sends a letter to my husband acknowledging my husband’s email which he sent to Vanessa. It only answers a couple of points raised: one the lack of communication and two the fact they still have our reservation fee. The letter includes copies of correspondence sent to our solicitor. One quote from the very short letter: “…we are satisfied that every attempt to communicate with you regards the purchase of Plot 42 at Falstaff was made.”
NOTE: We never received this letter because Keepmoat sent it to the wrong address, we only received a copy due to our Subject Access Request.
28/11/2013 – My husband emails Vanessa again as he has still not received a response and asks for a time-scale as to when a response should be expected.
– We receive a copy of a fax sent to our solicitor from Keepmoat solicitors. Please see Solicitor’s Letter.
In very short this is a letter which threatens us with court and police involvement relating to our website. They request that we take down our website within 7 days otherwise they may involve the courts because it contains “untruths”.
– A few days later we take our website down.
29/11/2013 @ 16:43 – A search is requested on 27 Symons Cresent. The agency which has requested the search is coming to collect the data the following Monday, 02/12/2013.
29/11/2013 – Plot 42, 27 Symons Cresent, Sheffied, S5 8BZ is sold to another buyer for £129,995 using the Help to Buy scheme.
04/12/2013 – A letter is sent with a cheque from Atherton Godfrey to cover the Estate Agent fees and reservation fee. We did not notice at the time but this letter also had our incorrect address on but someone from Royal Mail must have realised the errors on the address.
06/12/2013 – We email Atherton Godfrey. “…Your fax states that our website contained untruths, however this statement was not qualified. We believe that the website was a truthful account of our experience in trying to purchase a Keepmoat home and we are concerned that our integrity has been brought into question. In the event that some information has been overlooked, we request that your client, Keepmoat Homes, provide further particulars and we invite them to provide their version of events.
…Your fax also states that Keepmoat employees may wish to pursue the matter with the police. This implies that we have committed a criminal act. This is of great concern and we wish to be notified of the crime your client believes we have committed.”
14/12/2013 – A letter is sent to us from Atherton Godfrey, it is not received and we are only aware of it as it is mentioned in an email sent from Atherton Godfrey to Mark Knight on 18/12/2013. Contents of the letter are unknown.
17/12/2013 – My husband decides to email Vanessa again with the list of questions previously asked. This email is forwarded onto Mark Knight.
20/12/2013 – Email from Pat Sharpe, Mark Knight’s Personal Assistant. She acknowledges the email and goes onto write that Mark “…will be looking into all points raised and respond to each point early in the New Year.”
3/01/2014 – A Subject Access Request was sent to Keepmoat. Keepmoat had 40 days to respond to the request from the date of receipt of the letter which we sent Recorded Delivery (as per the Data Protection Act). This meant that they have until the 13th February to provide the information requested.
08/01/2014 – We receive an email with a copy of the letter from Mark Knight, see Right of Reply via email from Pat Sharpe. She advises us that a copy will also be sent in the post. We never receive it and it is at this point we realise that Keepmoat Homes have got both the first line and postcode of our address wrong.
02/02/2014 – My husband emails Keepmoat to advise them that they have an incorrect address for us. Keepmoat acknowledge.
11/02/2014 – Keepmoat acknowledge both the previous email and our Subject Access Request.
14/02/2014 – We received a large file of documents from Keepmoat – some which are not only incorrectly redacted they are also easily readable. They have redacted the more embarrassing emails between their staff even though it is personal to us. They also did not provide the notes in COINS as requested.
16/02/2014 – After reviewing the documents provided to us my husband emails Keepmoat to ask for them to perform the Subject Access Request correctly. “Thank you for the Subject Access Request data which has been received.
I have taken time to review the content – It makes interesting reading. There are some omissions that I am aware of. Principally, signed documentation from the Amaranthus and Brearley Forge site and information stored on COINS, which is referred to in various emails that have been supplied. These were within the scope of my request.
Furthermore, I am concerned by the redacting of the documents. I am aware that some redacting needs to be carried out, however the redacted text is legible. We have integrity and have no intention of using the legible information that was redacted correctly, however, it is clear that some of the information redacted should not have been. For example, we are clearly the butt of some in joke within staff email. As embarrassing as this may be for your company we are entitled to information where we are the subject. There are other examples which I will not go into at this time, but will entrust you to correct accordingly.
I must therefore request that the omitted information is provided and that you review your redacting and provide the documentation again.
I have attached my original request of 3rd January 2014 for your reference.”
22/02/2014 – My husband emails Pat Sharpe as he has received no acknowledgement of his email.
25/02/2014 – A response is received advising that they have received the request and are working to get the data to us a soon as possible.
1/03/2014 – We receive a letter from Mark Knight saying that because his PA is on holiday Keepmoat can not process our Subject Access Request until she returns.
02/03/2014 @ 08:23 – I send the following email: “Dear Mark Knight,
Thank you for your letter dated 28th of February.
You have already had 56 days to process our Subject Access Request and under ICO rules you have have 40 days to process the request.
I am concerned with the time-scales involved, is there any reason why another member of staff or your Data Controller can not process our request rather than waiting for your PA to return?”
@ 09:13 – Mark Knight replies “…We have already responded to your original request within the required timeframes and are in the process of responded to further queries you have raised.
Given the circumstances of the correspondence I am not prepared to involve any other members of my staff, which I’m sure you can appreciate….”
@ 09:41 – I respond “…The information was not provided within the time-scales as it was incorrectly redacted. Our request is the same as before. However, I don’t not want this to become an argument so I will allow you the extra time. As we both know what the emails say I can appreciate you wanting as few as possible people within your company to be made aware.
However, I expect the information to be provided correctly by the 17th of March otherwise we will have to take this matter to the ICO…”
15/03/2014 – We received some copies of some of the emails unredacted this time but not others. We also receive a copy of the notes in COINS.
I notice that there is a second reservation form signed at 11:16 on 24/05/2013. I had only just noticed that something wasn’t right with this form as I was in the process of going through all the data Keepmoat Homes provided. I showed this second reservation form to my husband. In order to cover our backs (we are careful since Keepmoat accused of being liars and implying we are criminals) we decided to ask Keepmoat a few questions about the second reservation form.
26/04/2014 – My husband emails Mark Knight with a copy of the 11:16 form and asks him to confirm who would have received a copy.
28/04/2014 – An email is received from Pat Sharpe confirming the following people would have received a copy of the 11:16 form:
- Mandy Merrin – Keepmoat HSE
- Lynn Wade – Keepmoat Legal Executive
- Atherton Godfrey (Acting for Keepmoat)
- Solicitor Acting for the purchaser
- Financial Advisor
29/04/2014 – My husband emails back to ask to see an inked signed original copy of the document (we know it does not exist but we thought to protect ourselves it would be best to ask).
01/05/2014 – My husband emails again as he has had no response.
– Pat replies back and states that due to holidays she can not respond sooner.
06/05/2014 – My husband emails Pat Sharpe: “Please advise all concerned that my patience is wearing thin. It has now been over one week since I requested to view a document bearing my signature. I’m sure you’ll agree that opening my file, removing a document and making contact with me does not require such a timescale.
By 5pm on Wednesday 7th May 2014 I require arrangements to be made to view the original document or a written explanation as to why this is not possible. If no response is received I will have no choice but to escalate the matter.”
07/05/2014 – Pat sharpe responds “Further to my email of 1st May, I appreciate your patience is wearing thin and apologise that I cannot provide you with an answer yet due to my colleague being on annual leave.
I will respond to you tomorrow.”
08/05/2014 – A response from Pat is received “Further to my email below I now have confirmation that the signed Reservation Form (with your penned signature) was given to you the purchaser. The process is as follows:
- The Reservation form is created on COINS and printed off for the purchaser and HSE to sign
- This signed document is scanned and the original given to the purchaser
- The scanned document is distributed to HSE, Keepmoat Legal Secretary, Purchaser’s Solicitor, FA and Solicitor for Keepmoat.
I have attached a copy of the Reservation Form again although you would have received this in February with the rest of the documents you requested.
I trust this answers your query. “
NOTES: She forwards on a copy of of the 12/08/2014 not the May document. My husband was very clear and even forwarded them a copy of the May 11:16 document so they knew which document we were referring to.
– @ 9:37 My husband emails back to ask for the original document to be sent. “Please send the document requested.
This one is dated in August, not May as per the document that I forwarded.”
– @ 10:00 – My husband’s patience again is wearing thin and he makes it clear to them he never signed the reservation from date 24/05/2013 @ 11:16. “…I have never seen the original document, nor have I signed it.
I have a green carbon copy of the original document that I signed, not the original. The original was retained by your sales staff…
…The new form, printed at 11:16 on 24th May contains information which was not made clear to me at the time of reservation. It also contains incorrect address details which were not present on the original.
I am also able to prove my whereabouts between the form being printed and the time that the form was forwarded to Lynn Wade, making it impossible for me to have seen or signed the document.
The document signed in August was signed under the verbal misrepresentation from your staff that it matched the original form, the only exception being that my wife’s name was removed.”
– @10:04 Pat responds to the 9:37 email: “Please find attached the copy of the Reservation Form dated 24/5/13 which again we only have a copy not the original.”
23/05/2014 – This page is published along with the summary, reservation and NHBC pages.
Something just doesn’t seem right here, I’m not going to say what because I don’t want to feel the wrath of Keepmoat’s solicitors. But I will summarise what I believe are major points in this story.
- It was not pointed out to us at the time of reservation that the plot we reserved was missing 4 windows compared to the brochure and plans we were shown
- We only found out about the missing windows whilst driving past the development, this begs the question if we had not seen the house whilst being built when would they have notified us? If we had been living further a field, say in another City, we may have never drove past to check on progress
- We were not given a copy of the Consumer Code for Home Builders at the time of reservation. We therefore did known what rights we should have had under this code and what standards we should have expected from Keepmoat
- The original reservation form was replaced with a different copy which had incorrect details on and extra information on which we were not made aware of. The document was made to look like my husband had signed it and agreed to pay the annual fee of £175
- An incorrect address being used for ourselves even when they had the correct address on the initial reservation form. When Mandy got the address wrong it was corrected by YourMove in an email sent to her. The correct address was given on the PlumLife form which was sent to Keepmoat and Keepmoat’s solicitors. The address was only partially incorrect to start with, Avenue had been replaced with Road, but at some point the postcode changed also. Incorrect home phone number and incorrect email address even though Keepmoat had been emailing my husband’s correct email address
- Two letters sent in September from Keepmoat’s solicitor to our solicitor which never arrived
- These same two missing letters not being chased up by Keepmoat’s solicitor for 6 weeks even though we had missed the 27th September completion deadline by over two weeks by the time they chased the matter.
- Impossible to achieve two week deadline to complete, even though Keepmoat normally give their customers around 5-6 weeks notice
- Keepmoat Homes knew in September that the house sale would need to complete in October but did not inform us
- Unknown “issues” as mentioned by Stephanie that we were not made aware of
- They fitted the wrong draw unit in the wrong place and did not inform us until after they had fitted it, even though they knew they could not fit the unit in the position specified. Although this might seem a minor point I think it highlights the lack of communication.
- The cost of a Solar Tube being a “fortune”
- Giving us two days to find a new buyer when our buyer pulled out, a time-scale that would be unachievable in most circumstances. Confirmed by Vanessa’s surprise when we found a new buyer
- Breaking point pressure from Keepmoat’s staff due to varying issues mainly caused by themselves from late August onwards
- Faxes sent to our solicitors criminal department rather than the conveyancing department which resulted in delays
- Keepmoat talking to another customer in September about the plot even though we still had a reservation
- The description of my husband as being a problem customer from the start
- Lynn Wade referring to cancelling our reservation 3 times
- Emails between Mandy and Stephanie which clearly show a dislike for us and an enjoyment taken when we could not complete on time.
- A reluctance to follow the Subject Access Request rules and provide all the information to us. They may have been embarrassed by the emails but that does not give them a reason to not send them. In a nutshell they attempted to hide information from us.