Monday, July 26, 2021
HomeHousebuilders Countryside and Taylor Wimpey warned over unfair leaseholds

Housebuilders Countryside and Taylor Wimpey warned over unfair leaseholds


Housebuilders Countryside and Taylor Wimpey could be breaking the law if they continue to include deeply unfair ground rent terms in contracts for new homes, according to the competition watchdog.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says it has written to the firms outlining specific concerns over their use of terms that double ground rent every 10 to 15 years.

Campaigners have called for leaseholds to be banned on new builds, and the Government has said previously it would work to end the practice, which has been described as the housebuilders’ equivalent of the PPI mis-selling scandal.

Investigations into Barratt Developments and Persimmon Homes remain ongoing, the watchdog added.

The CMA said that as a result of the increases in ground rent, terms built into contracts, it means people can struggle to sell or mortgage their homes, and risk becoming trapped.

The watchdog is demanding the removal of ground rent terms which officials think are unfair from all existing Countryside and Taylor Wimpey contracts to make sure they are no longer in breach of the law.

Bosses must also agree not to use the terms again in any future leasehold contracts, or risk future sanctions.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive, said: “These ground rent terms can make it impossible for people to sell or get a mortgage on their homes, meaning they find themselves trapped. This is unacceptable.

“Countryside and Taylor Wimpey must entirely remove all these terms from existing contracts to make sure that they are on the right side of the law.

“If these developers do not address our concerns, we will take further action, including through the courts, if necessary.”

Robert Jenrick / PA Archive

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said unfair practices, including crippling ground rents, have “no place in our housing market”.


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