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Exceptional hardship help guide

This guide is designed to assist you in completing our exceptional hardship procedure application form.
Each section of the exceptional hardship procedure application form has a corresponding reference number. This guide sets out each reference number and its explanation. We have also included a frequently asked questions section at the end of the guide. If you have any further questions regarding the application please contact us via info@tidewaytunnels.co.uk or 0800 0721 086.

Contact details 0.1 0.2 0.3 Title First name Surname Provide any titles that the first / second applicant may have. Examples: Dr / Mr / Mrs / Miss Provide the given name for the first / second applicant as shown on their passport or birth certificate. This is the name given to the applicant at birth, but not their family/ surname. Provide the surname for each of the first / second applicant. This should match the details on any supporting documents submitted in the application. If the surname has been changed, either through marriage or deed poll, please provide copies of documents recording the change with your submission. Only complete if this application is being submitted by a person other than the owner. Please state the capacity in which your interest is held and any collective name. Provide the first name of the person completing the form on behalf of the owner, as identified in question 0.4. Provide the surname of the person completing the form on the behalf of the owner, as identified in question 0.4. Provide the name of the company / organisation that the person identified in questions 0.4, 0.5 and 0.6 is employed by. This is the contact address for the person identified in questions 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 and 0.7. The contact address for the property should be provided in question 0.12. This should be completed for the person who is to be directly contacted during the daytime by the property purchase panel or the administrator. If contact is to be made through a person identified in questions 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 and 0.7, include their number. If the contact is through the first or second person identified in questions 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3, include their number. Daytime hours are defined as being between 9am and 6pm. For all numbers please ensure that area codes and extension are included. If the number is an international one, please include the international dialling code.

0.10 Telephone number (evening)

This should be completed for the person who is to be directly contacted during the evening by the property purchase panel or the administrator. If contact is to be made through a person identified in questions 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 and 0.7, include that number. If the contact is through the first or second person identified in questions 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3, include that number. Evening hours are defined as being between 6pm and 9pm, British standard time (adjusted for daylight saving / summer time as required). There will be no contact after 9pm, or before 9am. These will be treated as out of contact hours. For all numbers please ensure that area codes and extensions are included. If the number is an international one, please include the international dialling code. This should be completed for the person who is to be directly contacted via email by the property purchase panel or the administrator. This should include the full postal address of the property including the post code. If the property is within an apartment block please provide some indication of the size of the block and on which floor the property is located. This should be completed when the application is being made by persons who do not reside in the property and who will be the principal contact.

0.4

Executor, trustee, partner, agent, solicitor First name Surname Company / organisation name Contact address

0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8

0.11 Email address 0.12 Address of the property which you are applying for

0.13 Contact address

0.9

Telephone number (day)

If the address is international please ensure that the country is also provided in the address. 0.14 Please tick the boxes Please tick the relevant box associated to the respective section title, for which you believe your application meets the below where you requirements. consider that you meet the procedure It should be noted that if a section is incomplete you will not criteria as set out meet all criteria and as such the application could be rejected. in this guidance. Applications which do not meet all of the criteria are likely to be rejected.

Section 1 – Property type 1.1 Owner-occupier of private residential property (to include freeholders and long leaseholders) If you are the owner-occupier of a private residential property, which you would like Thames Water to purchase, you should tick this box. You are required to provide supporting evidence with your application as detailed in the application form. If you are the owner-occupier of business premises with annual rates of below £34,800 which you would like Thames Water to purchase you should tick this box.

Section 2 – Proximity of property to the Thames Tideway Tunnel works sites 2.1 Briefly, describe the location and nature of the property, with reference to the proposed location of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. It will assist us with your application if you can give a description of the property you want Thames Water to buy and how you believe it is being or will be impacted by the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The property must be within 100 metres of the area identified as being part of a works site for the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Outside this limit the panel may be prepared to exercise its discretion based on the particular circumstances of the case. If you require information on the location of the Thames Tideway Tunnel please visit www.thamestidewaytunnel.co.uk or call us on 0800 0721 086. You should ensure that you include additional information, such as the floor of a multiple dwelling unit you are applying for, as this will aid the panel. Section 3 – Efforts to sell 3.1 Date of advice We need to know the price(s) at which you have advertised your property on the market, the dates when you changed the price and details of who advised you about the price changes. Please use a new row for each price and the changes you have indicated. For each change of price please provide supporting evidence with your application. By whom / via which This should provide the name and address(es)of the estate estate agent? agent(s) who advised on price or price change(s) during the marketing of your property. Advised price Name, address and telephone number of agent(s) approached to obtain suggested asking price Please state the asking price for your property and any changes as noted in 3.1. This needs to include the contact details for the estate agent stated in question 3.2. Additionally include at least two other estate agents whom you have approached for a proposed asking price for your property. This should include the full postal address for the agent, the name of the representatives you dealt with and the specific contact details.

1.2

Owner-occupier of business premises whose annual rateable value does not exceed £34,800 The value of £34,800 brings the approach in line with the blight provisions under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and is consistent with other similar projects (e.g. Crossrail).

1.3

1.4

Mortgagees (i.e. banks or building societies) with a right to sell a property and who can give immediate vacant possession Personal representatives of a deceased person

You are required to provide supporting evidence with your application as detailed in the application form. If you are the mortgage holder with the right to give immediate vacant possession to the property which you would like Thames Water to purchase you should tick this box. You are required to provide supporting evidence with your application as detailed in the application form. If you are the personal representative of a deceased person responsible for an affected property which you would like Thames Water to purchase you should tick this box. You are required to provide supporting evidence with your application as detailed in the application form.

3.2

3.3 3.4

3.5

When was the property first placed on the market?

Provide the date when your property was put up for sale. The property must have been on the market for at least three months. This should include any previous estate agent with whom the property had been placed, that may have/have not been indicated in question 3.4. Please include any documents supporting this section with your application. Include here the price you were first advised to put the property on the market for by the first estate agent you used. Tell us what price the property is currently on the market for. We require the history of any offers made to you for the property from the date it was first offered for sale, as indicated by question 3.5.

Section 5 – Exceptional hardship 5.1 Describe the reason(s) why you would suffer from exceptional hardship if you had to wait to sell your property, until such time as the project is completed (expected to be 2023). Please provide any reasons why you believe you will suffer from exceptional hardship. This should include your definition of hardship and how you will be impacted should you be unable to sell your property. The timescale for construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel now means that having proven your need to sell it may not be necessary to wait until that need has become urgent for the panel to determine that this criterion has been met.

3.6 3.7 3.8

What was the initial asking price for the property? What is the current asking price for the property? Date of offer

5.2

Please put the date when each offer was received in this box. 3.9 By whom / via which Please provide the name of the estate agent each of the offers estate agent? was made to. 3.10 Offer Tell us the offer price in each case with any conditions attached. 3.11 Name, address and Provide full name, address and contact details of your telephone number estate agent or, if jointly instructed, of all estate agents with of agent(s) currently instructions from you at the moment to sell your property. marketing the property Section 4 – No prior knowledge of the Thames Tideway Tunnel proposals 4.1 On what date did you purchase or acquire the property? In which year did you move into / take possession of the property? Let us know the date when you purchased the property. If you acquired the property around the date indicated on the question, it might be relevant to provide us with the date you exchanged contracts to purchase. Please provide the date when you moved into the property.

5.3

5.4

This will enable the independent panel to fully understand and address your application in conjunction with others received. Please tick the boxes This will help you to ensure that prior to sending the for each section that application you have dealt with all sections required to be you have completed completed by you. and provided If this is not complete the application will not be processed evidence for. and will be returned for you to provide the missing information. Please list all the This will help us ensure that when we review your application supporting evidence we can check it is complete, and that when we return your that you are sending documents we have a checklist of what you sent. along with this application form. Please provide any This is additional space for you to add any further statements other information or information you would like us to put in front of the that you think is independent panel for their consideration of your application. relevant to your application.

4.2

What is the exceptional hardship procedure?
This is how we will assess claims from householders who contend that they are suffering hardship as a result of being unable to sell their property because it is potentially impacted by the currently published Thames Tideway Tunnel proposals. Property owners making a claim must be able to demonstrate that they meet all of the following criteria: 1. They are owner-occupiers of either residential or small business property. They could also be mortgagees or personal representatives of a deceased owner. The property is in proximity to the Thames Tideway Tunnel – defined as being within 100 metres of the area currently identified for use as a works site. Decisions on marginal cases will be left for the discretion of the panel. They have made all reasonable efforts to sell the property but have not received an offer within 15 per cent of the property’s open market value (‘Unaffected Fair Market Value’). They purchased the property before there was public awareness of the Thames Tideway Tunnel proposals (phase one public consultation was launched on 13 September 2010). Alternatively due to changes to the project since that time, it may also mean they can demonstrate they purchased the property before it could have been reasonably possible to have known about the project proposals which could affect their ability to sell the property. There is a pressing need to sell the property and the owner would suffer exceptional hardship if unable to sell the property before Thames Water completes the project.

How soon can I make an application?
One of the criteria to be met prior to submission of your application is that your property has been on the market for at least three months and that you have made reasonable efforts to sell it in that time. During the application process you should continue to actively market your property with an estate agent.

Frequently asked questions

Why do you have this procedure when no decisions have been made?
We accept that the prospect of long-term construction work may make it difficult for people to sell their properties. We want to understand individual circumstances, and if people are affected by our works then we need to understand those and act accordingly. The arrangements we are introducing are modelled on those in place for similar scale infrastructure projects, such as Crossrail.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Will my property be eligible under the exceptional hardship procedure?
To be eligible you must meet all five criteria set out in the procedure. If you are unsure whether your property is within approximately 100 metres of a worksite, you can do this by looking on our website at: www.thamestidewaytunnel.co.uk or calling our helpline on 0800 0721 086. Properties that lie above the route of the tunnel will not be eligible to claim exceptional hardship.

How do I make my application?
If you believe you meet the five criteria, you then need to fill in the application form and send it to us. Application forms are available by: Visiting: www.thamestidewaytunnel.co.uk Calling our 24-hour helpline: 0800 0721 086 Emailing: info@tidewaytunnels.co.uk Writing to us at: Thames Tideway Tunnel 7th Floor, The Point, 37 North Wharf Road, London W2 1AF Applications must be submitted by post or delivered to the above address, along with any necessary supporting documentation.

What if I don’t agree with the decision on my application?
Thames Water will make the final decision based upon the panel’s recommendation. If your circumstances have changed in relation to the five criteria then you may resubmit an application after three months. It would be helpful in this instance to resubmit the original with the change of circumstance explained in full.

How long are valuations valid for?
If your application is successful, a valuation will be determined and a formal offer to buy your property will be made. That offer is open for acceptance for the life of the exceptional hardship procedure but no longer (or for two months after the procedure closes if the offer is made within the last two months of the life of the project). If this offer is not accepted within six months, Thames Water reserve the right to carry out a re-valuation.

What if I acquired my property after 13 September 2010?
If you bought the property after this and were not aware of the project, we would need further information to assess an application. This should include a statement on why at the time of purchase you could not reasonably have known about the Thames Tideway Tunnel proposals such that they were going to affect your property. This could be because the proposals were changes to the original preferred proposals and only emerged after you committed to buy your property.

How will the valuation of my property be carried out?
If we agree in principle to buy your property, two valuations will be carried out. These will be done by two independent valuers, chosen from a pool of valuers who are familiar with your area. The property owner will be able to select one of these valuers from the pool and the other will be chosen by us. If the valuations are within ten per cent of each other, then the price which we will offer to pay you would be the average of the two. In the event that the opinions differ by more than ten per cent, an additional valuation would be obtained and the offer made on the average of the closest two.

How long will it take to consider my application?
The review process should take no more than three months and we will advise all applicants by letter of whether or not their application has been successful.

Who will consider my application?
We have asked an independent panel to review all applications to ensure applicants are assessed fairly and equally. The panel will advise us of their recommendation.

If you offer to buy my property and I accept, how will the purchase then proceed?
The purchase process will be handled in the same way as any property purchase and we expect the whole process for domestic properties to take about 12 weeks from the date that both your and our solicitors are appointed. Following your acceptance of the offer we will start the legal formalities and will also appoint surveyors to undertake structural and condition surveys. The surveyors will contact you directly to make the appointment to visit your property. Providing the surveyor’s report and the legal report on title do not identify any serious problems, the solicitors will be instructed to complete the conveyance process. In a straightforward purchase we would expect contracts to be exchanged within eight weeks and completion to take place two to four weeks later. If you would like to agree the completion date we ask that you discuss this with your solicitors and request them to contact our solicitors as is normal in property sales.

What happens if Thames Water sells the property at a profit?
The transaction would be no different from any normal market sale. However, owing to Thames Water being a regulated business any profit from property sales would, overseen by Ofwat, be returned to our customers through lower bills.

Do you have a limited budget available to buy properties? Does that mean that I might miss out if I do not submit my application until later in the process?
We have budgeted what we feel is a realistic sum to deal with claims that will be made. Each application will be dealt with on its merits.

If you offer to buy my property and I accept, what costs will I be liable for?
You will be liable for all costs which would have reasonably been incurred on the sale of the property at market value were it not for the prospect of the project.

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