The National Leasehold Campaign organised an email dump yesterday urging developers and investors in freeholds to either sell the freeholds of leasehold houses at the price originally promised or vary aggressive ground rents.
The aim was to urge developers and freeholders to follow Persimmon and Aviva, who last week settled up after the mis-selling and breach of consumer law investigation held by the Competition and Markets Authority.
The NLC initiative landed on in the inboxes of CEOs from 9am yesterday morning:
The following were among the recipients:
Freehold Managers plc
David Thomas, CEO of Barratt
E and J Estates
Chris Endsor, CEO Miller Homes
Paul Crook, MD Mainstaygroup
Jason Honeyman, CEO Bellway
Rob Perrins, CEO Berkeley Group
Estates & Management
Countryside Properties plc
Ground Rents Income Fund, Schroders
Claycourt Ltd (Nationwide pension fund)
Weathercourt Ltd (ditto)
Homeground (Long Harbour)
The emails were copied in to local MPs.
Countryside Properties plc’s head of legal informed several leaseholder correspondents that Countryside Properties plc had not been found to have mis-sold properties.
This is correct. The CMA is investigating Countryside Properties plc for “using possibly unfair contract terms”:
“The CMA has now written to Countryside and Taylor Wimpey outlining its specific concerns that their use of terms that double the ground rent every 10 or 15 years breaks consumer protection law.”
Thank you for your email of 30 June 2021. In view of the concerns you’ve raised about the lease terms of XXX, I’ve been asked to review the matter and respond on behalf of the Nationwide Pension Fund.
It might help to allay your concerns if I explain that in 2018 when this issue came to light, the Pension Fund Trustees agreed that when the lease review becomes due, they would apply the lower of compounded RPI for the 15 year period or the contractual doubling. Please also note that no doubling rent review has ever been implemented by the pension fund, although I understand this will not be reflected in your legal terms, hence your email.
Please can I make you aware that the pension fund does not own the freehold for your property as this is owned by your local council, so we would be unable to sell this to you. However, we could vary the terms of the lease via deed so that it removes the doubling clauses and becomes linked to RPI instead, although we would need you to contribute £250+VAT towards our third party legal and administration costs in making this variation. If this is something you’d like to consider please let me know and I can help you with the necessary arrangements.
Prior to deciding whether or not to proceed on this basis, it may be worth you contacting Countryside, https://www.countrysideproperties.com/contact-us, to get their assistance in line with their pledge as they may meet this cost and your own legal costs in this regard?
It’s also worth noting that the Nationwide Pension Fund is a separate legal entity to Nationwide Building Society, with the Society having no involvement in the fund’s individual investment decisions.
I’m sorry you’ve had cause for concern and I hope this information has helped explain things more clearly. However, please feel free to respond directly to me if you need further assistance.
Chief Investment Officer
Nationwide Pension Fund
Watching with interest for a response from AdriaticLand and Homeground.
A big thank you to all LKP for your tireless work over the years. I’m very much hoping that this is the watershed moment for this insidious industry.
Good morning I have had problems with Homeground/AdriaticLand over a couple of years regarding my lease could your point me in the right direction as to who you contacted as I live in Blackpool and can’t find a solicitor willing to take my complaint onand have been trying myself to no avail
Mrs Anne Vallance
Good morning I have had problems with Homeground/AdriatiLand over a couple of years regarding my lease could you point me in the right direction as to who you contacted as I live in Blackpool and can’t find a solicitor wiling to take on my complaint – being told that they don’t have the knowledge to deal it and have been trying to deal with it myself to no avail
Mrs Anne Vallance
Will anything be done about Jones Homes. The tactics they had for selling were immoral and have left lots of customers trapped in leasehold properties with expensive ground rents. We have supplied evidence from
Many residents clearly starting they were not offered the option to purchase the lease and there appears to have been a very unfair sales process for many customer.
For those who regret purchasing a leasehold home…
When corrupt men rule in power because money talks louder than reason, ordinary good natured trusting folk realise that they have been duped and treated not as citizens but as criminals.
It has now come to the point where a criminal would not have to suffer the problems caused by the sentences imposed on good people, a sentence where they will be stripped of their homes and savings even though they did no wrong.
Those of us who have put up with the underhand and draconian dealings of developers and building and freehold companies aided by a laughable unjust legal system which is obviously ignorant of human rights and with politicians who hide away from the reality of what they previously condoned and applauded, have to realise that although there are people who are trying to get rid of this abhorrent system, it is a scheme which has been built up over many years and yet there those who would like to see the scheme carried on indefinately.
It was some twenty years ago that the idea of commonhold was made available, it didn’t take off; why? well as my story above says, there are those who benefit from the system as it currently is, they are still in parliament, they listen with their pockets, they are in politics for one reason and that reason does not include being a person of honour…I will not include the few good men.
In order to fight for a system which is fair we will have to use the few weapons we have, one of the best ones is here right in front of you, please don’t hesitate to write your concerns down, but realise this, that because this message forum is for anyone there are those who try to use it to benefit the opposition, you can probably guess that they usualy speak in legalistic terms, as if being legal….it means its right!
MP Mr Bottomley has recently told us that the names of those fighting for reform such as Sebastian O’Kelly and Martin Boyd are not much mentioned in Parliament, it just goes to show just how many politicians are reluctant to see this horrible scheme of leasehold consigned to the dustbin where it belongs.