Housebuilder sets aside £130m to cover leasehold disputes

£130 million has been set aside by Taylor Wimpey to settle the ground rent disputes on leasehold properties.

Being criticised for their complex and often unclear terms, new build leaseholds have frequently appeared in the media over the last year.

Growing numbers of leasehold properties mean that more and more buyers have been subject to the contract provisions of their respective lease, which have in some cases, put them at a disadvantage.

For a group of Taylor Wimpey homeowners, a term stating that rent doubled every ten years had caused numerous problems – ground rent is typically a nominal amount which will rise in line with inflation.

As well as seeing the value of their properties fall, the Taylor Wimpey customers would face high freehold costs just to make their home more likely to sell in the future.

After conducting a review of the properties sold between 2007 and 2011, the housebuilder gave an apology to those affected by the high ground rent costs.

“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.”

“For those customers who acquired from, and remain the owner of a Taylor Wimpey leasehold property which is subject to this specific doubling clause, we have already entered into negotiations with the respective owners of the majority of the freeholds to alter the terms of the doubling lease to materially less expensive ground rent review terms, with the group bearing the financial cost of doing so.”

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