THE Consumer Crew are here to solve your problems.
Mel Hunter will take on readers’ consumer issues, Jane Hamilton will give you the best advice for buying your dream home, and Judge Rinder will tackle your legal woes.
Jane Hamilton, property expert
ARE you a fast mover? House tours lasting just 25 seconds are the latest TikTok viral hit.
Online estate agent Purplebricks is getting in on the trend by offering online speedy sales brochures, after research showed 25 seconds is all it takes for would-be buyers to make up their minds
Changing Rooms star Anna Richardson reveals her top home-movie tour tips.
Home movie can seal sale
- Make sure your home is tidy and well-presented ahead of filming.
- Show off your home and all its main features. The kitchen, lounge and bedrooms are the three most important rooms people consider when browsing a property listing. Use hyperlapse option on your phone to move rapidly around the rest of your pad.
- Have fun with the content. Make sure it’s fast-paced and fun. Start with the centre of the room in the middle of the screen then move the camera in an arc across the room. Stitch it together on TikTok tools.
- Give your high-speed home tour some energy by adding some fun, upbeat music.
- Enhance your footage with text, icons and emojis. You can use these to label your rooms, but remember to keep it factual.
- You’ve got seconds to grab a buyer’s attention when they’re looking online, so try some simple transitions to move from room to room. See it in action at page.purplebricks.co.uk/tiktok
Buy of the week
THE latest buyer hotspot is Northamptonshire, with more than 75 per cent of newly listed homes quickly going under offer, according to estate agent comparison site GetAgent.
Be quick and grab this immaculate two-bed terrace in Northampton. Offers over £230,000 at zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/59890091.
Room for any more?
DESPITE the housing shortage, almost a quarter of households insist extra homes are not needed in their area.
And 52 per cent of respondents in a new poll would oppose new ones being built close to their own pad.
Bethan Griffiths, from property management company Warwick Estates, which commissioned the survey, said of the opposition uncovered in the poll: “Unfortunately, this can have a real impact on the number of new homes that can be delivered in an area.”
Deal of the week
HOME is where the art is. Grab five prints for the price of three this weekend from desenio.co.uk. Offer ends Monday.
SAVE: Average of £20
Judge Rinder, legal expert
‘‘Builder’s left me high and dry over damp patches on walls – and more than two grand out of pocket’’
Q) TWO years ago I had my house rendered, costing me £2,250. A year later damp patches were coming through.
I got the builder back and he charged me another £100 to fix it – unsuccessfully.
He has now washed his hands of the matter and I have since been advised he should have tested the walls for damp before doing the work. What should I do?
A) It sounds like the builder failed to conduct basic checks to ensure the render would not be spoilt by your damp walls. If he had done this test, he might have used a different product or advised you not to go through with the rendering at all.
Either way, if it is standard building practice to check for damp before rendering (I suspect it is) and if you can prove your builder did not, you are likely to have a strong negligence claim against him.
You’ll need some expert evidence. Find a respectable building firm and ask if they will give a view on why this is happening and how much it will cost to repair.
Assuming they agree it was your original builder’s fault, write to him asking for a full refund. If he refuses, bring a case in the small claims court. It should be straightforward.
Q) A COUPLE of years ago I had a problem with my abusive live-in landlord. He eventually kicked me out but would not let me take my things and changed the lock so I couldn’t get them back.
I decided to take court action against him and have paid over £600 to get a hearing. I spent three days in and out of court and seeking advice on how to write up my submission. I ended up with ten pages, including three pages of texts and emails in support of my claims.
On leaving the court I realised I had not numbered the pages or links to the texts in paragraphs. So I called the court, to be told it was not a problem.
When my copy of the submission was sent to me, there were only seven pages. So I rang the court requesting copies of the final three pages.
I was promised they would be sent out but the pages never came.
The next thing I heard, a judge had dismissed my case as I had not resubmitted my submission with the paragraphs numbered. I feel like I have been let down by the court and its staff. I was never informed that this was the presentation needed, though I did query it.
What can I do to get this case back on track so I might get some compensation for my lost things? Do I have any claim against the court?
A) There are certain rules about how papers must be prepared and judges may make orders limiting how long written submissions can be. But I doubt a failure to number paragraphs properly would result in a summary judgment being issued against you.
Moreover, if the judge was concerned there was evidence in your case that would have been of legal importance, he would almost certainly have adjourned the proceedings.
You can apply to have the court’s judgment set aside but you normally only have 21 days to do this from the date of the order. There are other possible ways to appeal this, which could include complaining that court staff gave you inaccurate filing information.
But before taking this further, get in touch with your local Citizens Advice as soon as you can. You clearly need legal assistance.
Q) MY son has just completed his first year at university. He stayed in a halls of residence, paying a £250 deposit for the room.
When he moved out, the room was just as he found it. Despite sending countless emails requesting the money back, following the steps advised by the halls, he has not got his deposit. What can he do?
A) These halls should have placed his money in the regulated tenancy deposit scheme.
Get him to write to the halls again (I suggest you write too), making clear that unless the money is returned within 14 days, you will be referring them to the tenancy deposit scheme, which has an arbitration service.
Mel Hunter, reader's champion
Trainer store dragged feet
Q) I WENT shopping with my son to pick out presents for his 18th birthday.
He liked some trainers in Foot Locker but they didn’t have his size in the store, so the assistant said they could order them for delivery. I agreed and paid in the store, though they cost £20 more and I had to pay delivery.
They came the next day, after I paid a total of £154.99. But the trainers didn’t fit, so I took them to a local drop-off point to be collected.
Having heard nothing back, I emailed Foot Locker several times and was given timescales for the refund process. But I still didn’t get the money back, so I called again.
Foot Locker confirmed it got the trainers but said it was having problems with the refund. They should have been returned to a shop, apparently.
I was never told this. I’ve gone back to them yet again but still haven’t had my money back.
A) The sports store was dragging its feet on this refund, so I stepped in to find out what was going on. Like many stores, Foot Locker’s online and High Street arms seem to have, at best, a clunky relationship.
I told Foot Locker as much, pointing out that someone should have clearly told you from the start how to return the items, or at least helped sooner when you chased the refund.
I got your money back quickly, along with a £30 voucher for all the toing and froing.
A Foot Locker spokesman said: “We’re sorry to hear about the issues Carrie has experienced. On this occasion, the refund delays have occurred as the sneakers were bought in store but returned via our online returns service.
“That isn’t the normal procedure and so has taken longer than anticipated to resolve.”
Q) MY dad ordered two tickets from Viagogo for a Tom Jones concert in Norwich, due to take place in August.
When August came and he had still not received the tickets, he emailed Viagogo. It said the tickets would arrive a few days before the concert.
He called again and was told they had been delivered. Dad explained that he hadn’t received them.
He checked with neighbours and even went to a property with a similar address to see if they had them.
Viagogo said it would look into the matter and try to get replacement tickets. Dad heard, and received, nothing.
My mum, a huge fan, didn’t get to see Tom, and Dad is still too upset to talk about it.
Viagogo has £158 of their cash and offered no refund, though it said it would if no tickets could be found.
A) I approached Viagogo to find out what had happened here and it does seem those longed-for tickets were sent out – but taken to the wrong address by the delivery company.
Nevertheless, it was Viagogo’s responsibility to get them to you.
Acknowledging it couldn’t change what had already happened, Viagogo did issue a refund, and passed on some vouchers so your parents could book for another event.
A Viagogo spokesperson said: “This was a rare error caused by a delivery partner. Our customer service team has since issued a full refund. We have also offered a voucher as compensation, and apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
Source: Read Full Article