AN ELDERLY couple can’t sell the home they have lived in for 50 years after it emerged a footpath runs through their front room.
Great-grandparents Frank and Patricia-Anne Barrett put the three-bed house up for sale for £210,000 and moved out after getting an offer.
But the offer was taken back after the potential buyer’s solicitor checked the land registry and noticed a footpath running through and out of the property.
The actual path was diverted before the house was built but a council error means it still officially runs through the house.
The Barretts now can’t sell their home as potential buyers can’t secure a mortgage.
Mr Barrett, 74, a retired builder, said: ‘We knew nothing about it, as far as we were aware everything was hunky dory.
‘We’ve lost two buyers now, they can’t get the money so we can’t sell.’
He said he was told it would cost £3,000 to redirect the path, but once the council realised it didn’t exist, it changed the charge to £1,500 to get it off the map.
Assistant nurse Mrs Barrett, 67, grew up in the house in Newquay, Cornwall. She said: ‘It’s ridiculous. The path doesn’t exist and the council can’t fix the problem. I’ve been crying, my husband’s been crying. We shouldn’t be going through this. I’ve had to return to work to pay for the bills, I should be retired by now.’
The pair are still paying for the home, which they said is draining their cash.
Cornwall Council said it was working ‘to try and put right a wrong that happened decades ago’, adding: ‘We realise that this is distressing for the residents and we’re doing all we can to sort it out.’