A family fear they will be homeless this Christmas after an IT outage at a conveyancing firm led to their house-buying chain collapsing.
Katrina Crowson, along with her husband and one-year-old son, are to be without a place to live from Monday after a cyber security breach at Premier Property Lawyers (PPL) delayed their purchase of a house in Newark.
The Colwick family were set to complete the purchase on November 12 but were told on Tuesday that the sellers above her in the chain had pulled out due to the wait, Nottinghamshire Live reports.
“We’re basically going to have nowhere to go – we have nothing,” said Ms Crowson, who said the family had already put in notice for their current rental property.
The 38-year-old social care worker said that they have still not received their deposit back and have no friends and family to live with. She added that it was "too short notice" to rent another place.
Premier Property Lawyers are based in Enderby
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“As it stands we have no money so we are really in a bad situation,” she added.
“Okay we might find a hostel or a night shelter but it’s not a place for a child to spend their first conscious Christmas. Me and my son can apply for shelter through Women's Aid but my husband's not going to be allowed there – he will be sleeping in the car.
"What they did was break up our family, so close to Christmas. It should be a special time, our son is one-year-old, last year he was a baby but this year round he understands Christmas trees and all of that.
"Dreams and plans of owning our own home have been taken away from us through no fault of our own."
Ms Crowson is just one example of the human cost of the IT issues at Enderby-based PPL, who are the in-house law firm of MyHomeMove.
Cases of prospective house-buyers suffering delays in their transactions have been reported across the country this month.
“There’s lots of people being left in total devastation just before Christmas,” continued Ms Crowson.
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“The company doesn’t take responsibility and neither do the companies who endorse them. There has not been a peep from PPL for over two weeks now.
"They don't care. They're dealing with people purchasing a house – one of the biggest things you can do in life – and they didn't even give us advice."
She also said that she felt as if she was being “strung along” by the letting agents, William H Brown.
“It got to the point where we couldn’t get any information off of anybody over what was happening.”
William H Brown said it was offering advice to Ms Crowson and “urgently” finding alternative accommodation for the family.
A spokesperson said: “We’re very sympathetic to Ms Crowson, her family and all those affected by the IT outage at Premier Property Lawyers.
“Our William H Brown team is in regular contact with Ms Crowson to provide any assistance in finding a solution. This includes offering advice on her current tenancy (not with William H Brown) and urgently finding alternative accommodation.”
Premier Property Lawyers have been approached by Nottinghamshire Live for comment.