January 1 2017
Taylor Wimpey will stop selling leasehold houses nationwide after LKP exposes scandal of leasehold houses with doubling ground rents.
First-time buyer Clair Scott pulls out of BBC radio interview with Sebastian O’Kelly after defamation threat from her conveyancing solicitors, Bannister Preston. Three leaseholders are threatened with libel proceedings in 2017. We intervened with MPs to defuse all of them.
Sebastian O’Kelly tells ITN News at Ten that 45,000 leasehold houses have been sold in the last five years, and that £300-500 million of new home freeholds are sold every year by plc housebuilders.
Viscount Astor, whose son William Waldorf Astor manages £1.6 billion Long Harbour ground rent fund, attends the All Party Parliamentary Group meeting on leasehold reform at Westminster. Concerns for ripped off families, or an investor in residential freeholds, asks LKP.
Small scale Beech Developments sets off customer mutiny in Wales with grasping ground rents
Consumers fight back: Buyer pulls out of Persimmon £219,995 leasehold house purchase. One of an increasing number of failed sales as the scandal spreads.
Bellway originally offered freehold for sale for £3,750, but now ground rent speculator Adriatic Land – part of William Waldorf Astor’s Long Harbour group – wants £12,750
Sebastian O’Kelly in Sunday Times Home section tells reader not to buy leasehold houses.
Housing minister Gavin Barwell (now chief of staff at Number 10) says ‘No excuse for leasehold houses or punitive ground rents and we will stamp them out’
Housing minister Gavin Barwell tells controversial taxpayer-funded quango the Leasehold Advisory Service to ‘be solely, and unapologetically, on the side of leaseholders’.
Sir Peter Bottomley, patron of LKP, tells appalled conference of Leasehold Advisory Service, filled with leasehold sector lawyers, surveyors and property managers: ‘If I fail to offend anyone, I will do it next time.’
The Sunday Times reports LKP view that affluent London leaseholders are just as likely to be kicked around in the leasehold system as poor ones.
Sebastian O’Kelly tells BBC1 Victoria Derbyshire Show ‘we must end cheating speculators in leasehold housing’.
Roger Southam, chairman of Leasehold Advisory Service, advised freeholders on how to “maximise ground rent opportunities”, by DCLG rejects LKP’s complaint.
Sebastian O’Kelly tells BBC R4 You and Yours that Taylor Wimpey would have to “offer the freeholds at an appropriate low price to these homeowners who were misled into buying these leasehold properties under frankly scandalous terms”.
Sebastian O’Kelly’s application to board vacancies at the Leasehold Advisory Service is rejected. Sir Peter Bottomley asks the Communities Secretary for an explanation.
The Chartered Institution of Housing describes doubling ground rent and leasehold houses as “legalised extortion”.
Bellway sells Baltic Avenue freehold to Adriatic Land 6 as leaseholders mobilise
LKP reports Persimmon leasehold house owner’s letter: Dear Jeffrey Fairburn … Can I buy the freehold to my Persimmon house before you sell it to anonymous investors, please?
Homebuyer calls for Persimmon boycott, and Conservative MP Andrew Selous agrees with him.
Self-employed, first-time buyer is not allowed to park his van outside his Persimmon leasehold house: commercial vehicles in drives are banned under the lease.
Linden Homes (Galliford Try) calls in libel lawyers to deal with angry leasehold house purchaser speaking on BBC Breakfast. LKP calms the issue down.
Taylor Wimpey won’t help any buyer of its toxic doubling ground rent properties if it is a re-sale property not bought directly from the developer.
Prime Minister Theresa May tells the Commons: “I do not see why houses should be sold leasehold.”
Devastating public letter to Taylor Wimpey CEO: “Dear Pete Redfern (again) … Opaque leases, dubious ‘independent’ legal advice, no contact from Taylor Wimpey during its ‘review’, normal industry practice to stuff clients with leasehold houses (especially in North West)”
Dear Pete Redfern (again) … Opaque leases, dubious ‘independent’ legal advice, no contact from Taylor Wimpey during its ‘review’, normal industry practice to stuff clients with leasehold houses (especially in North West)
Private Eye on the Leasehold Advisory Service chairman.
William Waldorf Astor admits to LKP that freeholds in the £1.6 billion Long Harbour fund are owned offshore.
Bellway says leasehold houses have modest ground rents and are “virtually freehold”. LKP complains to Advertising Standards Authority.
Sebastian O’Kelly tells The Daily Telegraph a “ground rent strike is a very real possibility”.
Leaseholders demonstrate outside Redrow’s Ledsham Garden Village site in Cheshire, where houses are being sold leasehold. Justin Madders MP and Sebastian O’Kelly, of LKP, join them.
Sir Peter Bottomley tells BBC R4 You & Yours that government needs to clear out sector stooges from the Leasehold Advisory Service. Stop barring LKP trustees Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin Boyd from joining the board and to bring bring justice quickly to leasehold house owners.
Bellway warns backlash over leasehold houses may eat into profits.
Leasehold houses expose ‘gulf between the letter and the spirit of the law’, says Communities Secretary Said Javid.
Daily Mail reveals William Waldorf Astor links to “leasehold rip-offs”. And says leasehold houses should be “outlawed”.
“David Cameron’s brother-in-law Will Astor and the toxic leasehold scandal,” says Daily Mail
The Sun demands end to “ground rent rip-offs”
Sebastian O’Kelly tells BBC R4 Today programme: “These onerous ground rents are a new development. This is a case of murky and anonymous investors, often based offshore, hitching a ride at homeowners’ expense through owning the freehold.
FirstPort, the country’s largest property manager, fined £360,000 over fatal fire at Gibson Court
LKP moves motion of no confidence in Roger Southam, as chair of the Leasehold Advisory Service, at the DCLG leasehold stakeholders meeting.
Roger Southam, chairman, tells BBC R4 You & Yours says it was not the job of the Leasehold Advisory Service to warn ministers of leasehold houses scandal
71% of leasehold house buyers used developer recommended solicitors, LKP research reveals.
Conservative MP Andrew Selous says leasehold houses are the “spivvy idea of a financial director to make more money on wet Thursday afternoon”. https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/leasehold-houses-spivvy-idea-financial-director-make-money-wet-thursday-afternoon-says-mp
Daily Mail reports LKP estimate that solicitors recommended by developers could face £500m professional negligence bill, https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/developer-recommended-solicitors-face-500m-bill-says-daily-mail
Sebastian O’Kelly tells BBC R4 You & Yours plc housebuilders’ ground rents were “the sort of ground rent terms that you’d expect the worst kind of property spivs to dream up after having bought a freehold at an auction.
Sir Peter Bottomley urges Commons to condemn developers selling leasehold houses with onerous ground rents. And names Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Bellway and Adriatic Land.
Taylor Wimpey to pay £130 million to solve doubling ground rent scandal
Nationwide bans mortgages on doubling ground rents and ground rents that are more than 0.1 per cent of the property’s value.
Time to ‘get political about leasehold’, says the Financial Times.
Police may need to investigate ground rent scandal, Sir Peter Bottomley tells Daily Mail
LKP says Taylor Wimpey £130 million review scheme is PR fluff and not good enough.
BBC1 Rip-off Britain reports conveyancing solicitors recommended by developers made “errors” over ground rents. https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/bannister-preston-cohen-filippini-solicitors-errors-taylor-wimpey-ground-rents-says-bbc
Persimmon bans vans in house leases, so protest van with slogans warning of leasehold rip-offs is parked outside its sales suite.
Jeffrey Fairburn, Persimmon CEO, drops the term ‘virtual freehold’ when selling leasehold houses after pressure from LKP.
Countryside Properties plc is still selling London flats at The Mount, Mill Hill, with £300pa doubling ground rents
Bellway Homes attempts to explain why leasehold houses are just fine. And it is self-interested rubbish … https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/bellway-homes
Doubling ground rents owned by John Lewis Partnership Pension Trust … and managed by Vincent Tchenguiz https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/doubling-ground-rents-owned-john-lewis-partnership-pension-trust-managed-tchenguiz
Another public protest of leaseholders in Manchester outside the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Housing, which was to be addressed by new housing minister Alok Sharma.
Englishman’s home isn’t a castle: it’s a revenue stream for an offshore company thanks to national housebuilders, Justin Madders tells the Commons
Taylor Wimpey gets round ‘right of first refusal’ to buy freehold by selling the block BEFORE more than half flats are sold
June 30 Buyers walk away from toxic Persimmon leasehold house
Marie Rimmer MP: how can a modest Taylor Wimpey leasehold house in St Helens pay out £185,850 to freehold investors over 60 years
Adriatic Land and other freeholders ‘acting like robbers’, Commons told
I had to spend £14,000 to change double ground rent to RPI at Ausden Place. But will I get compo from Taylor Wimpey
Englishman’s home isn’t a castle: it’s a revenue stream for an offshore company thanks to national housebuilders, Justin Madders MP tells the Commons https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/englishmans-home-isnt-castle-revenue-stream-offshore-company-thanks-national-housebuilders-justin-madders-tells-commons
Media storm after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announces review to ban leasehold houses and set ground rents to zero. LKP interviewed in all media.
Sebastian O’Kelly writes in Sunday Times how flats can be built and sold commonhold and cites Spire View, in Pickering, North Yorkshire: https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/spire-view-pickering-shows-commonhold-future-no-leases-says-sunday-times
Taylor Wimpey profits slump 24 per cent, according to the Times
Pensioners face 88 per cent rise in ground rents
Neo Bankside leaseholders offered freehold for £4.8 million, but have only eight weeks to agree the deal
Pensioners face 88 per cent rise in ground rents, says LKP
The Sun attacks ‘fatcat’ leasehold game players:
Countryside Properties plc buys back freeholds from speculators
Another surrender: ground rent fund E & J Capital Partners says it will vary doubling ground rents to RPI on some sites
Persimmon backtracks, now selling houses at Harrow View West freehold. But leasehold house buyers demand right to buy their freeholds https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/furious-persimmon-leasehold-house-owners-harrow-view-west-demand-freeholds
Leasehold needs to stop being a means to produce ‘ever-increasing profits’, says Conveyancing Association https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/leasehold-needs-stop-means-produce-ever-increasing-profits-says-conveyancing-association
After months of discussion with LKP, National Trust leaseholders in uproar over ground rents and get the Times front page. https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/national-trust-leaseholders-uproar-modern-ground-rents
One in four home buyers avoid new builds owing to ground rent scandals and shoddy build quality
Ex-minister Sally Keeble, the regulator of the Association of Residential Managing Agents, quits after being blocked from ruling on a lift shaft fatality. She writes article for LKP saying self-regulation of managing agents in leasehold is impossible
McCarthy and Stone says ground rents are essential to its business model and viability of its schemes. But it is selling its freeholds to anonymous speculators.
LKP reports dismal low leasehold retirement re-sale values. Reported on BBC R4 MoneyBox and BBC R$ Your and Yours
The £114 million Ground Rents Income Fund plc, which has lost £6 to £10 million since January, offers to vary double ground rents to RPI
Taylor Wimpey and £1.6 billion ground rent fund Long Harbour are to vary leases with doubling ground rent to those linked with RPI. https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/taylor-wimpey-long-harbour-deal-defuse-toxic-lease-scandal
Ground rent speculator in leasehold homes laments losses in FT
Pensioner Trevor Nowell, 79, paid £42,000 for his Taylor Wimpey freehold, which after LKP exposed the scandal he could now get for a quarter of that price.
Leaseholders demonstrate at First-Time Buyer Show about rip-off charges
John Lewis Partnership Pension Trust tells leaseholder it will ‘disinvest’ in doubling ground rents
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid tells ARMA leasehold property managers are not good enough
LKP tells BBC that property managers can’t regulate themselves. It needs government
Vincent Tchenguiz employed Israeli ‘military intelligence’ operators Black Cube who ‘were employed by Harvey Weinstein over sex accusations’. https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/tchenguizs-israeli-military-intelligence-operators-black-cube-employed-harvey-weinstein-sex-accusations
Legal and General spares 334 leasehold flat owners at Blenheim Centre £10 million bill to remove Grenfell cladding from the site after LKP takes up the case.
Communities Secretary Said Javid to ban leasehold houses and future ground rents are to be set to zero. The lucrative lease extension and enfranchisement process is referred to the Law Commission, which is also to consider commonhold as an alternative residential tenure for flats and leasehold houses in England and Wales. The leasehold team at the DCLG is increased fourfold, and primary legislation will be drafted by the summer of 2018.