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Taylor Wimpey action on ground rent welcomed

The decision by housebuilder Taylor Wimpey to scrap controversial doubling ground rent clauses has been welcomed by a leading leasehold expert.

Jonathan Frankel, a leasehold enfranchisement specialist and partner at Cavendish Legal Group, said of the voluntary commitment from Taylor Wimpey: “It is good to see another housebuilder taking action after the unfairness of the current system was highlighted by the Competition and Markets Authority, and the National Leasehold Campaign.

“Hopefully in 2022 we will see more housebuilders following suit and announcing that leaseholders who had purchased properties from them will no longer be subject to ground rents that double every 10 years.

“However, while this announcement from Taylor Wimpey and similar ones earlier in the year from Persimmon, Aviva and Countryside are very welcome, the broader issue of the flawed system of ground rents still needs to be properly addressed.

“We are being contacted by an increasing number of leaseholders seeking advice about unfair ground rents, which are not only onerous but also make it difficult for them to sell their properties.

“The Leasehold (Ground Rent) Reform Bill that is presently going through Parliament will ensure that new leases granted will not have the problem of rising ground rents. Unfortunately, it will not tackle the issue of rising ground rents on existing leaseholds, leaving homeowners with such leases in a state of limbo unless they take action themselves by seeking a legal solution.”

Published: 23 December 2021