Stoneleigh resident says 'HS2 are appalling to deal with’ after falling victim to loop holes

A resident in Stoneleigh is warning other people of the difficulties of selling their home to the HS2 Need To Sell scheme after they have fallen victim of loop holes and the ever-changing guidelines.

Barbara Gee, 64, who has lived in Vicarage Road for 13 years with her husband, is trying to sell the house so that they can move up north to be closer to their daughter.

Barbara Gee and her husband are struggling to sell their home and have fallen victims to HS2's loop holes.

Barbara Gee and her husband are struggling to sell their home and have fallen victims to HS2's loop holes.

The couple have had their house on the market since May 2018 and applied to the Need To Sell (NTS) scheme as they are close to the proposed HS2 line.

Barbara said: “We are closest in the village to the HS2 line. We applied to the scheme and were turned down. One of the reasons that we were turned down is that our estate agent would gain financially from the sale, which is normal practice.

“Anybody that’s using an estate agent expects to pay a bill at the end.

“We had a meeting with Jeremy Wright MP just before Christmas to raise the issues regarding our refusal. NTS replied to Jeremy’s letter with a very weak response to the questions raised.

“They still insisted that our estate agent would gain from a sale - yet we need to be “for sale” for three months to qualify to even be considered in the first place.

“This guideline on estate agents, which is in the guidance CS954A, came in January 2018 and they haven’t really made people aware.”

Barbara is now warning others in a similar situation about the Need To Sell guidelines. She said: “Anybody who wants to apply should be aware of the loopholes and guidelines HS2 keep adding, such as being obliged to be on the market for three months before applying. HS2 are appalling to deal with.

“Going forward we will now have to leave our estate agents to go with one of these online agents where you pay a fee upfront and they do not gain financially from the sale of our house. Then HS2 can go to them for evidence they need. We now have until June to re-apply to the scheme.

“I am now in the process of trying to stop our agents marketing our house. They have said they would invoice me for work that has been carried out so far, including correspondence with HS2 but no figure has been mentioned yet. So this means we are now facing their fee and another upfront one with an online agent.

“It is not the fault of the estate agents as they are just a victim the same as everyone else is with HS2.

“HS2 are forcing people to use online estate agents which is rubbish really because it is so detrimental to ordinary high street agents.”

Despite having their house on the market for 10 months the couple have not received any offers.

Barbara said: “We have lived here for 13 years and when we bought it we were in a lucky position to snap it up because you have lovely views around here. But we have had no offers and who can blame them? All you will see is a great big train.”