Heathrow Property Compensation Announcement – Q&A

Heathrow

By Heathrow

Published 1st December 2014

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Heathrow has today released an updated property compensation proposal in the event of an additional runway.

Why have you made this offer?

A new runway at Heathrow may cause blight to those homes which are located closest to it. That means that there may be some potential loss in value to peoples’ property. We understand this and have developed a property compensation scheme to take account of it. During our recent public consultation on noise and property compensation we undertook to come up with a concrete proposal before the end of 2014 once we had had time to understand peoples’ views.

We have announced it because we believe it is the right thing to do to give local people, as soon as we are able to, clarity about where they would stand if our expansion proposal was to go ahead and give them the information they need to plan their lives.

What is the offer and who is it for?

For homeowners within the scheme boundary we will buy their home at its unblighted market price and give them an additional 25% of that amount to compensate them for the loss of their home. We will also pay their normal costs associated with moving house: stamp duty, legal fees and removal costs.

Home owners who have bought their home since December 2013 (the date the Airports Commission short-listed our scheme) will not be eligible for the offer, unless they have bought a property that was already eligible under the scheme.

Will landlords be eligible?

Social housing landlords (e.g. Local Authorities and Housing Associations) will not be eligible. Private landlords will not be eligible for the offer unless they only own one property. Private Landlords who buy properties from eligible home owners before the scheme closes will receive the 25% home loss payment if they subsequently sell the property to us.

Where is the scheme boundary?

It covers the areas closest to the new runway: Colnbrook, Poyle, Brands Hill, Harmondsworth, Sipson, Harlington and Cranford Cross. Please refer to the attached drawing for the boundary detail.

How many homes will be covered by this offer to buy scheme?

Including the offer already made for the homes within the CPO zone the new offer will cover approximately 4,500 homes.

What take-up rates have you assumed?

We have assumed that between a half and three quarters of those people who are eligible may choose to sell their properties to us.

What does the unblighted market price mean?

Each house will be individually valued to determine its unblighted value at the time of sale. This will be the value the property would have had if a third runway at Heathrow had not been proposed.

What are you going to do with these properties that people sell to you?

Initially we intend to refurbish and appropriately sound insulate all the homes and let them. Subsequently it is likely that we would re-sell the bulk of the properties, but this would need to happen gradually over an extended period so as not to distort the local housing market. Local Authorities and social landlords have expressed interest in purchasing some of these properties from us.

When can those people who are eligible expect you to buy their homes?

We would open the scheme after we have received planning permission and once we begin construction of the new runway. Our current expectation is that this would be in 2020. The scheme would remain open until a year after the new runway has begun operating so that local people have as long as possible to decide whether they wish to move away. The scheme would then be closed and no further purchases will be considered.

What if people need to move away before the scheme opens? Will you buy their home earlier than the date indicated above?

We believe that the nature of the offer we have made will help to keep the housing market in the affected area buoyant and enable people to continue to buy and sell their homes if they wish to do so. In the period before a Government decision on Heathrow expansion we do not believe that it is appropriate at this stage to have in place a “Hardship” scheme.

If people are finding it difficult to sell their home what should they do?

Initially, they should talk to an agent on the Heathrow Property Partnership list who understands our offer and can advise them on how best to market their home, as well as providing prospective purchasers with the details of our scheme. We believe that the nature of the offer we have set out above should mean that there are prospective purchasers who will be interested in buying properties that are eligible for purchase under our scheme.

As the certainty of our scheme going ahead grows, so will the prospect of eligible properties becoming worth 25% more than their unblighted price. This should enable vendors at the very least to achieve the property’s unblighted value. As time progresses it may also be possible for them to achieve even higher values.

If the vendor still experiences problems in selling their home even when correctly marketed and valued, Heathrow may able to assist by putting vendors in contact with prospective purchasers who are already known to us and who are familiar with the terms of our offer.

What role will Estate Agents play in this process?

It will be critical that Agents are able to both correctly value peoples’ homes and correctly market them. This will require an understanding of the terms of our scheme and its effect on the local property market. We hope that this briefing will assist in beginning this process.

Read the full announcement:

Heathrow

By Heathrow

Published 1st December 2014