Hainault homeowners face uphill battle to sell their homes

Scores of homeowners in former council houses may be unable to sell their property after Redbridge Council stopped issuing certificates confirming crucial structural works were completed in the 1980s.

Mortgage providers have refused to offer mortgages to buyers of “non-standard build” concrete homes, built between the world wars and since found to be defective, unless they see a certificate of final completion.

Homeowner Miranda James, who lives in Crossbow Road, Hainault, said it was a “huge shock” when a mortgage provider asked her buyers for a certificate of final completion, but the council refused to offer it.

“When we bought this place 14 years ago nobody told us we were buying somewhere that had anything to do with this,” Ms James told the Recorder.

“If we had known we would have run a mile from the place.”

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Although she was able to secure a mortgage on the home before, banks are now refusing to lend money to the people wanting to buy her home.

She added: “While I can’t sell the house I can’t move on with my life, it’s a Catch 22 situation.”

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The problem particularly affects homes in Hainault, as a number of them were built to the defective Airey design.

Redbridge Council claim that because the work was carried out more than 25 years ago, they stopped issuing new certificates in August. A spokesman said: “There are a number of private surveying companies that specialise in this area of work and will issue a certificate upon completion of a survey.

“Certificates issued by these companies should be acceptable by mortgage lenders.”

But Kerrie Binder, from Baker Estates, New North Road, Hainault, claims up to a third of homes in Hainault could be affected.

She said: “The council are giving people the wrong information. People will pay up to �4,000 but it could be worthless. There is no guarantee that the mortgage lenders will accept these certificates.

“It’s a very depressing situation and it will affect the whole housing market in the area,” she added.

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