Taylor Wimpey ground rent scandal

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Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has attracted widespread criticism concerning ground rent contracts at its new build properties.

Although the housebuilder has reportedly set aside £130m to convert the controversial leases, property owners remain sceptical, claiming they will still be significantly out of pocket.

The Taylor Wimpey ground rent scandal involves thousands of purchasers of the company’s new build properties who have acquired a 10 year doubling lease. These leases incorporate a ground rent clause which rises year on year to the point where the property is likely to become un-mortgageable and difficult to sell.

Spiralling ground rents under such leases mean that homebuyers face the prospect of annual ground rent bills of an eye watering £10,000 or more after 30 to 40 years.

Although the government stepped in earlier this year to address the problem and cut ground rents on new flats, the nightmare is set to continue for those unsuspecting purchasers already trapped in spiralling ground rent contracts. This has led to calls that developers should be forced to pay compensation.

Taylor Wimpey have insisted that their £130m assistance scheme is not compensation and will allow some but not all of its customers to switch to a contracts where ground rent is linked to inflation. Critics however say that linking ground rents to RPI is also unacceptable and will also impact negatively upon property values.

Even with the assistance from Taylor Wimpey, their scheme is open only to those who bought directly from Taylor Wimpey.  It is not available to many people who have had their lease assigned to them from another flat or property owner.

The Taylor Wimpey ground rent scandal is resulting in calls to our professional negligence legal helpline and we are working with clients in resolving issues. Options include the possibility of making a compensation claim against the conveyancing solicitor who dealt with the purchase of affected properties. A solicitor owes a duty to their client to consider the terms of a lease carefully and draw their client’s attention to any onerous clauses. Where a lease contains one of these 10 year doubling ground rent clauses then the solicitor could be in breach if they have failed to highlight this.

If you have been caught up in the Taylor Wimpey ground rent scandal or are facing a similar problem in relation to property purchased from another developer then please call our FREE helpline on 0808 139 1595 or email us at [email protected]