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IT'S BEEN A BAD WEEK IN THE PRESS FOR GREENBELT GROUP..... ARTICLE ON HOW THE WEST MYERTON TEST CASE HAS HELPED FREE OTHER ESTATES IS FEATURED IN THE INVERNESS COURIER... AND AN INTERESTING NEWS ARTICLE HERE ON THE HORNET CAMPAIGN, WHICH IS GOING WELL - ANOTHER TEST CASE IS IMMINENT!

UNHAPPY WITH GREENBELT GROUP'S PERFORMANCE?  PLEASE TAKE TIME TO SHARE YOUR VIEWS ON TRUSTPILOT... GREENBELT GROUP APPEARS TO BE LEAVING ITSELF POSITIVE REVIEWS AND IS ANSWERING EVERY POST IN IT'S USUAL STYLE, SO WORTH LOGGING IN FOR THE LAUGH ALONE!

Calling all Greenbelt Group customers in England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland... a group of homeowners has set up a Facebook page called Unhappy Greenbelt Group Customers Forum with the aim of mounting another test case against Greenbelt Group.

The Marriott V Greenbelt Group test case held in the Lands Tribunal for Scotland is now enabling homeowers in Scotland to apply to the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland to have the maintenance burdens in their title deeds removed (info on how to go about this is available below).  Homeowners elsewhere in the UK have seen this and want the same for themselves!

The case may also benefit homeowners in Scotland as it may be fought using elements of UK-wide legislation.  Please give this campaign your support.

A second test case is also being prepared by the Home Owners Rights Network which will challenge the Greenbelt Group business model.  This case is close to launch and fundraising will start in the near future.  Please support it also...  the learning from the Marriott V Greenbelt Group test case has been immense and is being reused in these cases. 

According to Police Scotland, "Fraud is a crime in which some kind of deception is used for personal gain".  Homeowners on the Home Owners Rights Network (HorNet) are telling us that they are calling 101 to report instances where they feel a fraud has been committed by their land management company.  Hop onto HorNet's Facebook page to find out more.

The question homeowners are asking Scottish Ministers is whether Greenbelt Group should still be charging given that deeds across Scotland are now being declared void by Registers of Scotland based on the outcome of the test case (see below).  From the social media posts below, it seems Greenbelt Group's debt collection team isn't too clear on this issue itself... 

The defeats for Greenbelt Group are stacking up - Six estates have now had their burdens declared unenforceable by Registers of Scotland due to the test case and more estates every week are applying to Registers of Scotland to have their burdens removed.  According to RoS there are at least another 2000 homes waitng to be processed - staff can't keep up with the demand. 

And on 1st February we heard that Greenbelt Group withdrew from a court case against a Scottish homeowner who asked for his case to be dismissed based on the test case.   Apparently it took three minutes between the homeowner mentioning the test case and Greenbelt's lawyers throwing in the towel!  If you're due in court, you might want to think about doing the same... test case number below.  If you've written to the Keeper  (as mentioned below) you can ask the court for your case to be adjourned or suspended pending the outcome of the Keeper's response.

Every homeowner in Scotland with a land-owning land maintenance arrangement in their title deeds can write to the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland and request the following...

I believe my deeds are unenforceable based on the outcomes in the Marriott v Greenbelt Group Ltd case in the Lands Tribunal for Scotland (LTS/TC/2014/27, 2 December 2015) and am wondering if I could request that the burdens in my deeds are rectified accordingly.  

Simply supply your name, address the number on the title sheet of your title deeds (and ideally the paragraph numbers of sections of your deeds which mention the maintenance arrangments) and fill out the online form on the Registers of Scotland website.

 

The good thing now is that homeowers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are wanting the same for themselves and are actively working out how they can achieve the same (or better) results based on the learnings from the test case.   Join the Homeowners Network Facebook page and website for more details.  

We're taking legal advice on whether we can raise a joint action and sue the developer for placing faulty burdens in our title deeds.

A lot of people are currently defending against Greenbelt Group in the courts and are sharing and building their defences together - if you'd like to join them, register with the HomeOwners Network - HorNet - and apply to join the Facebook page.

People are now openly sharing letters from Greenbelt Group with other homeowners online, quite a dossier of evidence is being built up of the tactics, rhetoric and modus operandi of the company and of different members of staff.  Well worth hopping on to take a look.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

For example - one homeowner being sued by Greenbelt Group has found that his home insurance policy covers him for legal expenses in defending the case!!  Great tips.

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Perth and Kinross Council has issued an Enforcement Order against Greenbelt for failing to maintain land around an estate to standards outlined in the original planning permissions.  More information is available here.

Another campaign group based in England. Please support them.  They have a Facebook forum where homeowners across the UK are discussing further legal actions based on the test case. www.homeownersrights.net

A very useful piece of information for people thinking about suing a company (including developers and land owning land maintenance companies) in the UK  - more information can be found here...


UPDATE ON THE TEST CASE...

After a detailed conversation with the head of planning we have written a formal letter to outline the current situation which has been forwarded to the council legal department.  The latest word from the council is that a wide-ranging review is underway.

The judgement from The Lands Tribunal for Scotland was issued on 3rd December, 2015.

A full copy of the verdict is now available on the Lands Tribunal for Scotland website.

As you can see from verdict, the court has ruled that my burdens are invalid and therefore unenforceable due to the fact that the burdens were not set up correctly by Greenbelt Group and the developer. 

As a result, the Keeper for the Register of Scotland has found that the maintenance burdens in every single home on the estate are also unenforceable - and as a result the title deeds of every household are being altered to remove the obligation for homeowners to pay Greenbelt Group.

This judgement sets an important prescedent for other estates in Scotland and has flushed out information that will be of use to homeowners on other estates including that homeowners have the legal right to withhold payment if they feel Greenbelt Group or any other land-owning land maintenance company has not maintained the land adequately or if they feel the charges are unreasonable. As we've said all along, if a company thinks it has a right to your money and you disagree, the onus is on that company to prove its claim through the courts.  See sections 137 and 155 of the verdict - available via the link to the verdict above. 

[137] Be that as it may, what the proprietors would be entitled to do is withhold payment of the sums claimed as not being reasonable remuneration, given the standard of the respondents’ performance. It would then be for a court to determine what, if anything, was reasonable remuneration.

[155] Finally, in so far as the list of factors contained in Schedule 2 is concerned, reliance was placed on item (o): obliging the consumer to fulfil all his obligations where the seller or supplier does not perform his. Although the deed of conditions does not expressly make payment of a share of the Management Operations conditional on performance of the respondents’ obligations, there is no doubt that, read as a whole, one is the counterpart of the other and the individual proprietors would be entitled to withhold payment in the event of non-performance, or inadequate performance, of the respondents’ obligations. 

There are many other empowering pieces of information in the verdict that we'll be publishing in the coming weeks.  We will be running all these points past our legal team before publishing to ensure that the information is fair and accurate.

THE NEED FOR A TEST CASE WAS SUPPORTED BY THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT, SCOTTISH MINISTERS AND CONSUMER FOCUS SCOTLAND.

Case Reference Number

LTS/TC/2014/27

Feeling harassed by a commercial company?

If you feel harassed by any company in the UK you're entitled to report the company to the Police.

If you feel a company has obtained your details (such as your phone number) from a third party, or has passed on your details to a thrid party without your permission, you can that company to the Information Commissioner.  The Information Commissioner has the power to fine companies that operate outside of the law.  The Information Commissioner will also deal with complaints about nuisance calls and issues advice on how to block unwanted calls.

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This website was founded a few years ago by residents on the West Myerton estate in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire as a place to share information about issues affecting this community.

 

 




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