While the Government has been chipping away at improving life for property leaseholders, there is lots they cannot change due to agreements being made quite some time ago.
This is where bodies like te Competition and Markets Authority can help and today they have. The CMS has written to Countryside and Taylor Wimpey outlinin concerns about the terms in their leases. Those terms would double the ground rent every 10 to 15 years making the lease incredibly difficult for the leaseholder to maintain. The CMA determined these contracts to be unfair an that many of the leaseholders may have been unaware and mis-sold their lease.
Having such a mechanism in the lease also prevented these leaseholders from selling their property on to others because nobody wants a double bill every few years. For this reason the CMA has required the removal of the terms.
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.
While both companies could of course fight back and take the matter to court, the attention the case has got already looks poor in the eyes of the consumer. It is likely both companies will undertake work to improve their leases making them fairer and clearer for the leaseholders.
This investigation was asked to be carried out by the Government after so many leaseholders had complained about the situtions they are in, while there was no quick fix in legislationn to address the problem retrospectively, this CMA investigaton and action appears so far, to be a positie step.
If you are a leaseholder affected and want to know more visit this site for more information.