Families who bought £180k homes on new-build Bradford estate find they are worthless

Devastated families who bought £180,000 homes on new-build estate in Bradford claim they are effectively worthless after discovering they ‘don’t meet building regulations’

  • Young families who spent life savings on dream homes left ‘in a state of panic’
  • The couples had invested up to £180,000 for the new-build houses in Bradford 
  • They later learnt that the properties failed to not meet strict building regulations
  • Then told estate backs onto a former landfill site which emits toxic methane gas 
  • Developer Sherwood Homes later went into administration, leaving them in debt
  • The gut-wrenching stories came to light in BBC One’s Rip Off Britain programme 

Young families who spent their life savings on their dream homes were left ‘in a state of panic’ after finding out the properties are worthless. 

Couples invested up to £180,000 for new-build houses before finding they failed to meet building regulations.

Owners were told the Bradford estate backs onto a former landfill site which still emits toxic methane gas.

They were then dealt another devastating blow when the developer Sherwood Homes went into administration, leaving them in thousands of pounds of debt.  

Adeel Azfal, 27, spent £175,000 on the home where he lives with his partner and two-year-old daughter. 

He told the BBC: ‘I’m in £150,000 worth of debt to my mortgage provider and I’m paying for a house that’s worth nothing at all.’

Graphic designer Chris Oliver and his wife Steph, 34 and 29, (pictured) decided to remortgage their new build five years later, but a valuation revealed the developers had failed to complete the home in line with building standards

Mr and Mrs Oliver purchased their three-bed house for £129,950 in 2014 with a 20% Help to Buy loan

Mr and Mrs Oliver purchased their three-bed house for £129,950 in 2014 with a 20% Help to Buy loan

All owners on the 13-property site have since found out their homes were not built in line with planning permission

All owners on the 13-property site have since found out their homes were not built in line with planning permission

The gut-wrenching stories came to light in BBC One’s Rip Off Britain. 

Mr Azfal, who bought his home in 2016, told the show: ‘We’re a young family. My partner doesn’t work so we are tied into what we thought would be our forever home. When we realised it was worth nothing at all, it was a big shock.’  

All owners on the 13-property site have since found out their homes were not built in line with planning permission. 

The developer should have built a gas membrane between the landfill site and the estate, but there is no evidence it did so.  

In February, Sherwood Homes went into administration, leaving thousands of pounds worth of work uncompleted. 

Graphic designer Chris Oliver and his wife Steph, 34 and 29, purchased their three-bed house for £129,950 in 2014 with a 20% Help to Buy loan. 

But when they decided to remortgage five years later, a valuation revealed the developers had failed to complete the home in line with building standards. 

The valuation report reads: ‘The property has currently got a value of £0.’ 

Mr Oliver tells the show: ‘Our hearts sank. We just thought, what are we going to do? 

‘There’s been so many people who we should have been able to trust and rely on and no one wants to help.

‘We tried to contact Sherwood Homes. There was no reply. They stopped answering phone calls and emails. We were just in a state of panic.’  

Adeel Azfal, 27, spent £175,000 on the home where he lives with his partner and two-year-old daughter. He told the BBC: 'I'm in £150,000 worth of debt to my mortgage provider and I'm paying for a house that's worth nothing at all.'

Adeel Azfal, 27, spent £175,000 on the home where he lives with his partner and two-year-old daughter. He told the BBC: ‘I’m in £150,000 worth of debt to my mortgage provider and I’m paying for a house that’s worth nothing at all.’ 

Families who bought £180k homes on new-build Bradford estate find they are worthless 2

Owners were told the Bradford estate backs onto a former landfill site which still emits toxic methane gas

Conveyancing solicitors denied any negligence but agreed to contribute towards finishing the building work. 

A Bradford Council spokesperson told the show it was ‘supporting residents with guidance and advice.’  

Homes England has also agreed to suspend interest payments on Help to Buy loans for affected residents. 

  • Rip Off Britain is on BBC One at 9:15am today and available on iPlayer

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