Mother faces losing house and struggles to complete before deadline

Mother faces losing house and struggles to complete before deadline

Muslim mother, 29, who bought a £1 house because paying a mortgage is ‘against her religion’ faces losing it – as she risks missing the crucial deadline to prove it’s safe to live in

  • Ibby, 29, brought her £1 house so that she could own her own ‘dream home’
  • Moved into house on Channel 4’s The £1 Houses: Britain’s Cheapest Street
  • Said she couldn’t take out mortgage because Islam prohibits paying interest  
  • Had to prove to the council after a year that house was safe to live in 

A mother-of-two who bought a house for £1, because it was her only chance of moving out of her parents’ home to live with her own family,  faced losing it all at the last moment.  

Ibby, 29, from Liverpool, lived with her husband and children at her mother’s house, but dreamed of having more independence by buying a dilapidated £1 house on the Webster Triangle – her first family home.

She features on Channel 4’s The £1 Houses: Britain’s Cheapest Street tonight, where she revealed the scheme by Liverpool City Council was her only chance to buy her own home, because paying a back a mortgage would be ‘against her religion’. 

Many Muslims believe that paying interest is forbidden, although it’s not clear why Ibby did not turn to an Islamic bank for a loan that complies with religious rules.  

However, after a year of renovations, the property had to pass a council inspection and with just days to go and the work not finished, Ibby was left with the very real prospect that she might lose it.  

Ibby, 29, from Liverpool, bought a £1 house through a council scheme and had a year to renovate it with the help of builder Yusef (right). But on tonight’s The £1 Houses: Britain’s Cheapest Street on Channel 4, she faces a race against time to get it finished 

Having long dreamed of owning her own home, Ibby felt her only option to buy a £1 house and renovate the property. With just days to go until the deadline, the property had been re-plastered, but there was still a huge amount of work to do 

The kitchen in Ibby’s new home was installed in time to meet the deadline, but she needed to get the sink in working order before the council inspection  

It was not made clear in the programme how much she spent on the renovations, or where the money had come from.  

In 2013, over a hundred terraced houses stood derelict in the Webster Triangle, a run-down area of Liverpool.

As part of a renovation project in the area, they were handed over to first time buyers for one pound each.

But five years into the project, the £1 house scheme was way behind schedule – and just 55 houses of the 138 in the project have been finished.  

What are Islamic mortgages and loans? 

Within Islamic finance, money has no intrinsic value and is seen as a medium of exchange. 

Every unit of money is seen as being completely equal in value to another unit of the same denomination. 

Because money has no value in itself, it cannot therefore generate interest. 

Islamic rules about money forbid applying or charging interest on loans or mortgages, treating money as a pure exchange. 

Islamic law does not allow people to make a profit by exchanging money, or benefit from lending or borrowing money. 

Charging or earning interest is therefore not compliant with Sharia law, for either customers or banks. 

Interest also known as ‘riba’, is condemned throughout the Qu’ran. 

Islamic mortgages and loans therefore can work in one of the following two ways:


Ijara is a leasing arrangement, sometimes called a house purchase plan (HPP) in the case of mortgages.

It involves the bank buying a house, car or other goods for a customer, then leasing it back to them.

Each lease payment contains an installment towards the purchase price of the commodity, so eventually the customer will own the property outright. Until that point, the bank remains the legal owner.

Resale arrangement – Murabaha 

This involves the bank buying the home or other property, then reselling it to the customer for a higher amount. The customer then pays for it in monthly installments.

With a Murabaha arrangement, the customer is the registered owner of the property from the start of the arrangement.

Source: GoCompare 

As part of her contract, Ibby would not officially own her property until it passed a council inspection after 12 months. 

The mother-of-one who was pregnant with her second child, struggled to stay on schedule throughout the build, and had dreamed of moving in before welcoming her daughter – something which ultimately did not happen.

And as the council deadline started looking, Ibby faced the tough reality that she may not finish the house in time.  

Looking around the empty property, her mother Fazia joined her daughter Ibby, as she held her newborn daughter and said: ‘I can’t wait for it to be fitted now.’

Ibby and her husband Nabil (right) were delighted to be moving into their first family home together, having lived with Ibby’s mother Fazia since their marriage 

She added: ‘I don’t want to get excited, because you get excited and then something happens.’ 

But it seemed like an ambitious project and, with 10 days to go, Ibby admitted she still needed to finish the kitchen, stairs, plumbing, gas and sinks in the bathroom. 

Speaking to her builder Yusef, she revealed: ‘I put my full trust in you. You do what you need to do.’

Meanwhile the overly confident builder said: ‘Ibby’s house is nearly done now, like a day, a day and a half job for me to do. And then finished.’ 

Grandmother Fazia (left) offered help on the house, telling Ibby she was allowed to be the boss ‘for the day’ 

But despite Yusef’s assurance that the job would be finished in days, a week went by and little had been done.

Two days before the council deadline, Ibby required all hands on deck to finish the property. 

Her whole family were roped in to help her get the house finished on time, including her mother Fazia, who revealed: ‘I’m letting her be the boss, just for today.’

Meanwhile Ibby said: ‘I’m s******* it to be honest. It’s getting really close.’   

Fazia described her daughter as a ‘good kid’ and said she was ‘desperate’ for Ibby to have her own home

‘There’s still quite a bit to do;  get my front door fitted, extractor fan, empty the backyard, back doors, doors.’ 

She added: ‘I think the biggest thing now is the cellar, to make sure it’s done according to the regulations. That is a major concern.’

With two days to go until the deadline from the council, Ibby struggled to find essentials needed to get the property signed off.

Clambering among cardboard boxes and pieces of artwork, she said: ‘I need a working sink in order to sign off, but can’t find a tap, this is a problem.’

After uncovering the tap from a room full of boxes she joked: ‘See, a woman always knows.’

Meanwhile her mother was desperately trying to help her daughter turn the building site into a home, saying: ’What’s this toilet doing in here? It’s a prayer room!’

Fazia was stunned when her daughter managed to finish the property in time and said she was ‘really made up for her’ 

Fazia wassn’t the only one on site to help, with Ibby’s brother and cousin joining them to make the last push to finish off the house.

Keen to make sure the house was ready for the deadline, Ibby added: ‘Nobody is leaving. Nobody.’

As the new mother tried to desperately finish the house, barking orders at her family members, mother Fazia was left feeling reflective.

She said: ‘Ibby is a good kid. We are desperate for them to have their dream home.’

The grandmother added: ‘To come to this moment where there’s 48 hours left – it is really absolutely crucial.’  

But luckily Ibby’s house passed the council inspection, and she said she was overjoyed to finally move out of her own mother’s home and into her own. 

The mother and her husband Nabil were absolutely delighted to officially be owners of their £1 house.

She said: ‘It’s crazy isn’t it? I did not think this day would happen. And here we are. It’s happened. it’s our house. My house.’

Ibby and her husband were overjoyed to move into their new home, with the pair calling it ‘crazy’ and admitting they ‘did not think this day would happen’ 

And while her husband Nabil joked around with her, she conceded: ‘Okay, okay our house.’  

With reality setting in that her daughter was moving out, an emotional Fazia told the camera: ‘I’m made up for her, really am made up for her. It’s what she wanted.’

Having heard the news, the grandmother carefully hung an family heirloom containing Arabic scripture on one of the walls of the house. 

And while Ibby was overjoyed to see her mother had given her the piece of art, her mother could barely speak without breaking down.  

An emotional Fazia was seen hanging a family heirloom on a wall in her daughter’s new house 

Choking back tears, Fazia said: ‘I’ve had it for about 15 years and the time has come to give it to you.’ 

As Ibby embraces her mother, she repeated: ‘I’m only down the road, I’m only down the road.’

But the emotional Fazia struggled to speak, wiping away the tears as she said: ‘It’s a gift that my mum, your nan, gave me, and I’m now giving it to you.

‘This is a new chapter in your new life, you actually own your own home.’

An emotional Fazia handed down a family heirloom to her daughter but struggled to contain her tears as she broke down 

Ibby swept Fazia up into a hug as she assured her weeping mother she would be ‘just down the road’ 

And Ibby admitted: ‘It’s so scary, It’s absolutely just petrifying and I’m so terrified.’

She added: ‘It’s a massive step, it’s so big, oh my gosh. It’s real.’

And as her family celebrate her moving in with a platter of sandwiches and biscuits, Ibby thanked her builder for his hard work.

She said: ‘Thank you so much, I know it’s been stressful. and if I didn’t push we wouldn’t have finished, let’s be honest.’

How does Liverpool City Council’s £1 Home Scheme work? 

Liverpool City Council’s £1 Home Scheme or Homes for a Pound is an initiative to bring around 6,000 empty houses in the city back into use by helping first time buyers get on the property ladder.

The properties are released in phases of roughly 40 homes per time and applicants have to undergo a bidding process.

To be eligible, applicants have to live or work in Liverpool and must commit to staying in the property for five years. They must also be able to demonstrate they have enough savings behind them to spend on renovations.

A total of one hundred families have now been allocated a property, with a further 350 families being considered for one.

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