Worthing homeowner criticises council after struggling to sell affordable home

Bradley King said he is 'trapped' in a home he cannot sell
Bradley King said he is 'trapped' in a home he cannot sell

A Worthing homeowner has criticised the council after finding himself ‘trapped’ in a property he is desperate to sell.

Bradley King said he had spent the last six months living in ‘stress and anxiety’ over the struggle to sell his home in Sunflower Street, which forms part of the wider West Durrington development.

When he bought the new build home three years ago, it was at a discounted rate of 80 per cent, due to it being an affordable rented home.

Bradley said his title deed stated that when it came to selling the property, he would have to contact the council.

But when the 23-year-old estate agent decided to sell up six months ago for personal reasons, Bradley said it was clear the council had ‘no idea what to do’.

For months, the council maintained it was ‘nothing to do with them’, Bradley said, until his solicitor highlighted the specific clause within the title deed.

Bradley was then told the property must be sold to someone on the council’s housing list at a discounted rate.

However, the council said it would not market the property itself nor share details of the list with Bradley for GDPR reasons. “I’m in a catch 22,” Bradley said.

If no offers are received after six months, the condition to sell the property at a discounted rate will be lifted, Bradley said, but he fears there could be further delays.

“I was originally hoping I could move this side of Christmas,” he said. “Now I’m thinking I won’t be moving until after Christmas 2020.”

Bradley said he felt ‘sadness and disappointment’ over the situation.

“I’m not only trapped in a home I can’t sell, I’m trapped in a part of my life I can’t move on from,” he said.

A spokesman for Worthing Borough Council said: “As a Council we are committed to creating and providing good quality affordable housing for local individuals and families.

“The property in Sunflower Street, which forms part of the wider West Durrington development, was clearly marketed three years ago as ‘affordable’ social housing.

“This meant it was only available to eligible housesholds on the Worthing housing register at a discounted rate of 80 per cent.

“As is usual with this type of social housing, there were a number of conditions attached to any future sale.

“This ensures that those on the council’s housing waiting list, who are most in need of accommodation, are offered the opportunity to purchase it at the 80 per cent value.

“The purchaser would have been aware of these provisions when he originally purchased the property.

“There’s no requirement for us as a Council to market the property and we have been in touch with the seller’s solicitor in response to their queries.”

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