Taylor Wimpey apologises over unfair ground rent clause

Published by Hannah Nemeth on 03 May 2017.
Last updated on 10 May 2017

Leasehold houses

Taylor Wimpey has apologised to leaseholders and set aside £130 million to sort out a problem with the terms of its leases for new-build houses which can see ground rents soar over the long term.

The house builder has just completed a review of its leasehold terms, focusing on a clause that sees ground rents double every decade until the 50th year, at which point the rent is capped.

This can mean that a ground rent of £300 a year would cost £9,600 after 50 years, causing financial hardship but also making it difficult for homeowners to sell their homes.

This arrangement was introduced in 2007 and was used until late 2011 when a new system was introduced linking grounds rents to inflation.

Taylor Wimpey says: “It is clear from our review that the impact of these doubling rent review clauses is now causing some of our customers understandable concern.

“We acknowledge that the introduction of these doubling clauses was not consistent with our high standards of customer service and we are sorry for the unintended financial consequence and concern that they are causing.” 

In many cases, Taylor Wimpey has sold on the freeholds to these properties to third parties and it says that it is negotiating with the owners to alter the terms of the doubling lease to less expensive ground rent review terms.

If it can’t reach an agreement with individual freeholders, it will “pursue other avenues to help our customers”, with £130 million set aside by the group to pay for this.

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My partner and I purchased an

My partner and I purchased an apartment which completed in September of 2012 from Taylor wimpey. We purchased using their recommended solicitor and their recommended mortgage advisor as it would 'save' us money on these costs. Now, almost 5 years on, we have just had a sale fall through thanks to the doubling ground rent issue which came as news entirely to us. We are devastated and extremely frustrated as this is now set to cost us an unknown amount in terms of lost value of the property, not to mention the money already spent on trying to sell and buy a new property etc. Simply to have all come to nothing but this new discovery! Our frustrations are jointly at ourselves for being naive first time buyers and trusting completely our solicitors but also to the solicitors themselves for not raising the point as well as Taylor wimpey. In the last few days I have read widely that this is being addressed but I am sceptical to what extent and have also noticed that many articles highlight this stopped in 2011; yet we bought towards the end of 2012 and we have just discovered we have been hit with the same 'arrangement'. We are now in a position where we don't know what to do next or who to turn to, nor do know why I write to you other than to vent my frustrations. I would be very grateful for any advice on what to do next or who to contact if you are able to.

Many thanks

Sorry to hear that you lost a

Sorry to hear that you lost a house sale because of the ground rent doubling issue - even though you bought your house in 2012.
 
If you have access to Facebook, the National Leasehold Campaign has a Facebook group, where you can share posts/advice with others in a similar position.