Would-be resident says she has been unable to move into her home because of delays to completion
A woman who has been unable to move into her £3.4m penthouse after a construction project was delayed has launched a legal battle for compensation.
Maureen Haltrecht agreed to pay £3, 425,000 for a 999 year lease of penthouse in Barnet, London, in 2005.
But she has been unable to move into the property after a series of delays, and is now suing owners Aquarius Developments in a bid to enforce the contract.
She is seeking a court declaration that the developer is not entitled to determine the contract, and specific performance of the contract. She is also asking for an order for an up to date programme of the landlord’s works, and damages for breach of contract.
Mrs Haltrecht paid a 10% deposit in November 2005, and building work should have been finished by 31 December 2006, according to a High Court writ. If practical completion had not occurred by 30 June 2008, then either she or the company was entitled to end the agreement, the writ says.
Mrs Haltrecht paid a 10% deposit in November 2005, and building work should have been finished by 31 December 2006
But practical completion has not occurred, and she is asking the court to ban Aquarius from ending the agreement, saying that it is in breach of building obligations and that is why practical completion has been delayed.
In April 2008, project manager Barrie Tankel Partnership produced a project overview, saying there would be delays in completion until October 2008, as the building was not yet watertight.
The overview said that the insulation on the north block had been punctured when skips and materials were placed on it by the previous contractors, believed to be Scanmoor Construction, and will need to be completely replaced.
Mrs Haltrecht says this is evidence of another breach of building obligations, contributing to the delay, and says her original agreement cannot have intended that Aquarius was entitled by its own breaches of contract to delay the practical completion date to exercise the right to determine the purchase agreement.