The Office of Fair Trading has secured undertakings from Fairhold Homes Ltd and associated companies controlled by the Tchenguiz Family Trust to change how they charge retirement leasehold transfer fees at their 53,000 retirement developments.
The OFT has been investigating exit fees, which are payable when a tenant sells or lets out their retirement home and in some other situations, for three years and had promised a “substantive announcement” in August. Typically calculated as a percentage of the value of the property, these fees can amount to thousands of pounds.
As a result of the OFT’s investigation, Fairhold has agreed to make a number of substantial changes to the way in which it conducts its business. Fairhold has undertaken that it will not charge a transfer fee in any new leases it obtains through the acquisition or development of properties, unless the fee is for a service and represents its reasonable costs.