I paid a £500 deposit on a new-build flat using the help-to-buy scheme. The development was supposed to be completed three months later, but nine months on there was still no handover date, so I withdrew. But the agent, Claremont Property Group, says the deposit is non-refundable.

DE, Swindon

Completion delays can cost a fortune if a house sale is tied to a purchase and buyers have to fork out for rental accommodation while they await their new keys. The Consumer Code for Home Builders, which all developers who sign up to help to buy are obliged to follow, requires deposits to be refunded if delays are unreasonable. This timescale is not specified but over six months would generally qualify. Claremont Property Group does not explain why you were refused, but confirms it has issued the £500.

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number. Submission subject to our terms and conditions



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