If you’re reading this, you may be one of the extremely unfortunate residents or landlords who own a property on the Paragon Estate, a development of flats built by Berkeley Homes, with the Landlord being Notting Hill Genesis Housing Association.
In October 2020, residents were informed that due to structural and fire safety concerns, the buildings would need to be emptied immediately. Residents moved out of their homes in the middle of a Pandemic and Landlords were deprived of vital rental income.
The horrible nature of what has happened has been rightly recognised as alarming by Notting Hill Genesis, with their Group Chief Executive Kate Davies saying “I understand that Paragon residents may feel angry or alarmed by this news, as they have every right to be. This is a very distressing time and we are genuinely sorry for the huge amount of disruption and uncertainty that this situation will cause.”
What is important now of course, is what comes next.
Residents have been moved out because if the worst had happened, there would have been a serious threat to life. Now though, for many people, their futures will depend on what happens next.
Who are we?
At Sawyer Fielding, we are Chartered Surveyors who specialise in helping homeowners affected by the threat of Compulsory Purchase. In most instances, this is negotiating Market Values and related compensation and often advising on issues such as –
- Compulsory Purchase Order process
- Finding somewhere else to buy
- Solicitors, Mortgage brokers and Accountants
We have already been approached by leaseholders from the Paragon Estate who have informed us that Notting Hill Genesis will be looking to buy properties on Compulsory Purchase terms, presumably in readiness for demolition, assuming he Civil Engineers reports recommend the same.
Fair Market Values
Leaseholders, whether owning leases outright or on a shared ownership basis, should be paid a fair Market Value.
There a set of legal assumptions and disregards when it comes to Compulsory Purchase Valuations, even where no Compulsory Purchase Order has been made. These technicalities can be challenging so firms like Sawyer Fielding who specialise in this niche area, often come in to help leaseholders.
What we would also look to do is to help homeowners find somewhere to buy. In a challenging market and with Covid restrictions making everything more difficult than it otherwise would be, this help can be crucial.
If you’re a homeowner and reading this only days after being told you need to move, you may still be shell-shocked at the ordeal. As you work out where you’re living today, tomorrow and in the weeks and months to come, thinking of the where you could buy may be the furthest thing from your mind.
Taking a moment to breathe and collect your thoughts is natural. Once you have though, there will need to be serious considerations on what happens next. We’d like to help.
IF properties are purchased on Compulsory Purchase terms, there will be additional compensation due.
- Statutory Loss payment representing 10% of Market Value for resident leaseholders or 7.5% of Market Value for non resident leaseholders
- Disturbance compensation to cover costs such as moving home or buying another investment property
- Legal and Surveyors fees for the sale. Compulsory Purchase Law would require the buyer to pay BOTH our reasonable fees for helping a homeowner and Solicitors costs for dealing with the conveyance
- Landlords may also be entitled to Loss of rent
Capital Gains tax
Non resident owners should also be concerned about the Capital Gains tax liabilities that arise out of selling, particularly now HMRC require payment within 30 days of sale.
There is a way to be able to roll over the Capital Gains tax into a new investment but to do so, there are a number of hoops that need to be jumped through first, that we can advise on.
The adage of if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail is very apt here.
Why Sawyer Fielding?
Well, first of all, why not?
If you’re a leaseholder affected by this tragedy, using our service does not cost you anything. You have nothing to lose but potentially a lot to gain.
As for experience, well, we have bundles of it.
We have represented more homeowners affected by the threat of Compulsory Purchase than any company in the UK.
We know the area! We’ve done hundreds of valuations in West London. One of our Directors, has even valued some of the flats on the Paragon Estate on a Shared Ownership basis, for a former employer, on behalf of leaseholders.
We are the experts.
Last year, we even negotiated sales of 19 of the 21 leasehold properties in Hartopp & Lannoy Points, two tower blocks in Fulham that needed to be emptied very quickly due to structural concerns that may see them fall over. It was intensive work but we secured fair deals, with all of our leaseholder clients reaching agreements in a timely way.
Our team have valued lots of flats with Cladding on and lots of flats that are structurally unsound. Most Chartered Surveyors are at risk of getting it wrong if it’s not something they’ve dealt with before. We won’t be making those mistakes.
We have also valued a lot of shared ownership properties and have valued a lot of leasehold interests with similar terms to those on the development. An initial search suggests leases may have approximately 86 years unexpired and we’re checking one by one at present.
What to do now
You may have only just received the news. You’re wondering where you’ll be living next week or what Christmas will look like. If you’re a Landlord, you may be worrying about not having any rent whilst this mess is sorted out.
We don’t have all of the answers yet but we’ll be doing what we can to protect the interests of the leaseholders affected by everything that is happening.
If you’re one of the unlucky leaseholders hit by this misfortune, let us help you too. Strength in numbers will help ensure that you receive a fair deal and we’d like to be the voice that represents many of you.
Let us protect your interests. You’ve got nothing to lose but potentially a lot to gain.
Please call us on 020 3011 5300 or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org