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Housebuilders were criticised for doubling ground rents

Stop Taylor Wimpey's Ground Rent From Doubling12th Oct 2022

by Nick Leedham on 12th Oct 2022

Contact Nick Leedham

Updated: 12 October 2022

Our solicitors are helping more and more leaseholders who were caught out by housebuilder Taylor Wimpey’s doubling ground rent.

Just over two years ago FTSE 100-listed Taylor Wimpey bowed to mounting pressure over ground rents that double every 10 years (and make it hard for leaseholders to sell their homes).

Taylor Wimpey has been writing to leaseholders. In its latest letters, the housebuilder is now offering to:

  • Stop the ground rent from doubling by changing the lease terms with a deed of variation.
  • Replace the ‘doubling’ clause with one that charges ground rent at the initial rate for the remainder of the lease. (Previously, Taylor Wimpey had offered to limit future increases in the ground rent to RPI inflation.)
  • Refund any ground rent payments that were over and above the level payable when the lease was entered into
  • Refund the appropriate portion of any interest paid in respect of late payment of the increased ground rent
  • Refund the appropriate portion of any administration charges paid as a result of them having to send late payment reminders in respect of the increased ground rent 
  • Pay leaseholders’ legal fees up to a maximum of £750 when they appoint a solicitor (of their choice) if certain criteria are fulfilled.

Is Your Ground Rent Rising Sharply? Book A Free Chat

Should I Accept Taylor Wimpey’s Offer?

Not without taking legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in residential leasehold property law.

This is a complex area of the law. A significant number of homebuyers who got caught in the ‘doubling rent trap’ did so because they:

  • might not have read the small print
  • might have been badly advised by general lawyers who lacked sufficient expertise in leasehold matters.

Back in 2019, Taylor Wimpey’s letters said you were under no obligation to sign a deed of variation – but that your ground rent would continue to double if you did not.

And the letter warned what would happen if you chose not to proceed: “Taylor Wimpey will not be making any additional offer to customers covered by our agreement with your freeholder.”

That was a polite way of saying ‘take it or leave it’.

Have you received any letters from Taylor Wimpley about your ground rent? Get expert legal advice from a specialist leasehold solicitor before you sign anything. There are important pros and cons to weigh up…

Get Expert Legal Advice On Your Ground Rent

For more information, please contact residential leasehold solicitor Nick Leedham at Coles Miller’s Bournemouth office, 01202 355697.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.