Taylor Wimpey’s deal with Adriatic Land to vary doubling ground rents to those linked with RPI are the minimum it could do to prevent being sued.
Extending the deal even to those who have bought these leases on resale – ie not directly from Taylor Wimpey – covers that issue as well.
But one hitch spotted by leasehold Joanne Darbyshire, who spoke at the All Party Parliamentary group meeting on Monday, is the Taylor Wimpey offer to cover £750 of leaseholders’ legal fees. [UPDATE: Taylor Wimpey has now confirmed it will pay the £750 legal fee even if leaseholders do not proceed with the offer.]
“If I appoint a solicitor and decide not to go ahead with the Deed of Variation who pays my solicitor?” she asks.
“The initial response I’ve had is that it will be me but I’m waiting for confirmation. If that is the case, it is absolutely disgraceful. I need legal advice to decide if I want to proceed, but if I decide not to I will have to pay the legal fees myself!
“I want the true freehold on my house for the same amount of money I could have bought it for at the point of sale if I had not been mis-sold, less any ground rent paid to date. That is the only way that I will not be disadvantaged as a result of this scandal.”
Solicitor Mari Knowles, who is understood to be representing a significant number of Taylor Wimpey leasehold house owners, today advised existing clients:
“We still plan on appointing Counsel to advise, but there is now some urgency to get this advice sooner rather than later. We are working closely with Counsel to get the advice within the time frames given by Taylor Wimpey.
“We can then properly advise on whether you should consider accepting the offer and the implications of this on the professional negligence claims you are seeking to bring.”
Louise Burns, of Leasehold Solutions, who has given a number of roadshow talks to leasehold home owners in the North West, issued the following advice this morning:
You may already be aware of an offer made by Taylor Wimpey last week to the owners of leasehold houses with onerous ground rent clauses that double every 10 years. Taylor Wimpey has reached an agreement with the freeholder to convert the ground rent terms of such leases to a ground rent linked to the Retail Prices Index (a measure of the rate of inflation), via a Deed of Variation.
We at Leasehold Solutions passionately believe that the only fair resolution to the leasehold house scandal is that those who have purchased a leasehold house should have the absolute ownership of the freehold of their home with no ground rent to pay, nor should they face any unfair fees to obtain licences and permissions.
Unfortunately, the latest details to come from Taylor Wimpey regarding their offer for those with ground rents that double every 10 years does not include this option. Also it is very difficult for us to comment in any meaningful way on the latest update of their offer as there is very little detail included in it.
On the face of it however it does seem that the offer to cancel the 10-year doubling clause and instead move it to one that is linked to RPI from the original start date of the lease is one that would financially benefit those that were caught by the aggressive doubling clause and it would make the cost of purchasing the freehold considerably cheaper if the details of Taylor Wimpey’s offer are correct.
Therefore, our suggestion for now would be to continue to consider the offer Taylor Wimpey has made until we can see some real detail behind it. At that point we will be in a position to advise those considering this offer in a much more meaningful way.
Obviously the aspect of ground rents that double every 10 years is only a small part of the leasehold scandal. The offer from Taylor Wimpey does nothing to address the issues faced by those who have ground rent accelerators that may double every 15 or 25 years or are already linked to RPI. It also does not address the issue affecting many of the onerous clauses (and restrictive covenants?) contained in their leases, which require high fees to be paid to the freeholder for various permissions and licences.
Could we please ask that once you receive any more detail on this offer that you pass these details on to us so we can examine the offer more closely and be in a position to advise you much more comprehensively.
Furthermore, if you are considering pursuing the conveyancing solicitors who advised you when you originally purchased your property, I would ask that you speak to my colleagues at Leasehold Law first before accepting any offers. They can then advise you to ensure that accepting the offer from Taylor Wimpey will not prejudice your case to seek redress against your conveyancing solicitor
Still no deal with the John Lewis Partnership Pension fund (another owner of TW doubling ground rents) then?
“We at Leasehold Solutions passionately believe that the only fair resolution to the leasehold house scandal is that those who have purchased a leasehold house should have the absolute ownership of the freehold of their home with no ground rent to pay, nor should they face any unfair fees to obtain licences and permissions”
I realised immediately when I became educated on leasehold that leasehold simply should not exist, there was no rational nor equitable reason for its existence. Initially the practise of selling houses leasehold, and I hear I am speculating, was not wholly with the intent of being exploitative. In the north west at least it was almost the way things were done when selling houses, it was (had become) traditional. Here I am talking of 999 year leases and fixed £20 per year ground rents, not onerous, but still I have to say an unnecessary nuisance, particularly so when permission fees are considered. Was I passionate at this point about leasehold and the need for abolition? As it happens YES, there was something horribly wrong about people believing they were buying house when they were in fact only leasing them.
Then the wide boys and spivs moved in and decided to fully exploit the existence of feudal leasehold laws. If I was passionate before, I find it impossible now to describe how I feel about leasehold. To the point, leasehold needs to be abolished, and with retrospective legislation turning leasehold properties into freehold without expense to the new freeholders. Anything less than this would be inadequate and unjust, we have to settle for nothing less than abolition and gifted freehold.
Hear hear. However in addition , strict statutory regulation of residential managing agents is also required because as I have pointed out many times before,some flat dwellers will still opt to appoint Managing Agents.
Residential Leasehold “Forfeiture’ must also be removed from the statute book. This ia a draconian penalty used as a ‘ Nuclear Weapon’ by unscrupulous Freeholders, Spivvy Managing Agents and alas misguided , naive directors of Freehold companies. to extract irrecoverable and unreasonable sums from vulnerable, intimidated and threatened leaseholders. It has in some cases left leaseholders contemplating suicide.
This cannot continue. The Rachmanist era is obsolete and must remain so.
There is no reason why a financial breach by a tenant cannot be dealt with through the remedies of normal debt collection in the Courts or via bailiffs. In addition and in very narrow circumstances the concept of a ‘FORCED SALE’ by a tenant imposed by a Judge is a principle I would agree with as recommended by the law commission.
The threat of forfeiture, dating back to Feudal times, has become a ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’ and is wholly inappropriate in today’s modern world. It’s use as a threat by Landlords and Managing Agents is widespread however it’s implementation by the courts is minimal.
Residential,Leasehold “Forfeiture” has the same effect on human beings as the torture once described by ‘Hippolytus de Marsilliis in Italy in the 15th Century e.g the drip drip drip drip drip drip of threats, legal letters from shady ‘ solicitors’ etc could actually drive a vulnurable person insane with fear and misery.
In other words ‘FORFEITURE ‘ is the ‘ CHINESE WATER TORTURE’ du Jour!!
ABOLISH THIS SHOCKING THREAT ONCE AND FOR ALL.
Kim, I am somewhat distant from what is happening on the ground, you are in the thick of it, and in the thick of it now. Statutory regulation for managing agents and removal of the ability to impose forfeiture very probably need to be addressed even before the central issue of leasehold and its very existence. From your posts it seems urgent attention is required now, or better still, yesterday.
Indeed. Yesterday if not sooner!!!
As I have said before- ” It is bandit country out there in Residential Property Management”.
Acts of Fraud ,demanding monies with menaces and down right acts of theft are being carried out with impunity on a daily basis by the spivs working in this industry.
THIS CANNOT CONTINUE! STATUTORY REGULATION OF MANAGING AGENTS IS IMPERATIVE.
At the same tone as David Cameron was spouting about controls to offshore companies, his wife’s family namely Lord Astor was one of two directors at Adriatic land. When Taylor Wimpey sold the lease of my flat to him, he threatened to sue me for withholding ground rent even though I continued to pay it to Trinity Estate Nanagement as I had no knowledge of the ugly deed. Lord Astor engaged bully boy solicitors who charged me every time I told them I had paid. In the end and gave up and paid lord Astor appointed solicitors even though I didn’t owe anything. I would like someone to look into the relationship between Taylor Wimpey Directors and Lord Astor, Cameron’s father in law. The Adtirs originally made their money through fur trading in US. Not such an admirable way of becoming so influential in British politics. In the future his grandchildren may be super rich and retain their position in the House of Lords and knock down your house or flat and build some expensive high rises. Hopefully there are still enough decent MPs to stop the despicable house trading
These spivs rely on leaseholders being bullied frightened and generally worn down by threatening letters from shady solicitors. You did not owe that money what you did is done by many leaseholders, it all adds up!!!! DONT DO IT AGAIN! These are snake oil spivs even if they are wearing Saville Row suits and Lobb brogues , and that just the Solicitors!!!!!
Another Cleverly timed PR stunt by Taylor Wimpey. Are they hoping for the headline
“Taylor Wimpey self regulate & as a ‘token of good will’ they will offer all doubling ground rents the opportunity to convert to RPI”
Are they seriously expecting leaseholders to roll over and say “Thank you so much”. This is a load of RUBBISH !!!
Gone are the days leaseholders don’t speak up. Thousands are completing the governments consultation to let the government know the truth about this very cleverly orchestrated mess you have created.
I agree with everything Jo Darbyshire says. This is not good enough and is no more than a sticking plaster on a weeping sore.
The only way out for leaseholders is to be able to purchase their freeholds at the original price quoted, and not this “FLEECEHOLD” tenure you have now created.
Taylor Wimpey it’s about time you started to restore your reputation and do the right thing. We do not want to be chained to your endless fees for life. We want our homes back and will settle at nothing less.
The National Leasehold Campaign will not be going away !!!
I hope there is an investigation about any Taylor Wimpey director links between them and Lord Astor. He was I e of two directors that bought our flat lease and then put their nasty solicitors on us to pay for delay in paying ground rent even though we were paying it to the previous Taylor Wimpey management company.. I would live to know how many flats and houses leases were sold to Lord Astor and what did Taylor Wimpey get out of it. I wonder if there are plans to make a Taylor Wimpey director a Lord.? Come on Lord Astor come clean
Katie. The next time TW see’s its “Reputation ” is when it has been Junked and staring at “Its Masters” from the bottom of an abyss .
They are trying to play ” Nicey Nicey”‘ purely to protect themselves.Dont be fooled ( I’m sure you won’t be) Give them merry hell . Get Justice ( And your Freehold )
Taylor Wimpey, I suspect are probably going to end up paying the enfranchisement price on each house. If the ground rent is £250 per annum doubling every ten years until it reaches £16000 and 5 yrs have gone by then they are looking at £40,000 per unit plus costs
It would appear that those who bought the freeholds are holding out for the full price mindful of the financial strength of Taylor Wimpy
This would indicate based on the provision set aside that some 3000 to 3500 homes must have this sort of lease terms
On reflection probably more . They were probably basing their provision on the new freeholder accepting a new rent of say £250 indexed linked as being worth say £8k thereby reducing the payment TW have to pay the new freeholders
Therefore the total number of houses TW may have sold on such terms may be nearer 4000 to 4250
I’m guessing there will be some small print that means I have to accept this as TW’s final offer and release them from any further obligation if I accept this offer. If that’s the case I won’t be agreeing to it.
This scandal is about way more than doubling ground rents. It’s about the shameful onward sale of our freeholds to faceless offshore investment companies with no regard for customer detriment . It’s about ludicrous permission fees for us to alter our homes or change mortgage lender. It’s about how the developers, conveyancing solicitors, values, lenders et al did nothing to prevent a complete market failure.
There is a long way to go to put these wrongs right but this Government has a fantastic opportunity to put an end to this feudal system once and for all and force a mis-selling review of leasehold properties. I live in hope that we will get the right outcome from the leasehold reform consultation.
“To the point, leasehold needs to be abolished, and with retrospective legislation turning leasehold properties into freehold without expense to the new freeholders. Anything less than this would be inadequate and unjust, we have to settle for nothing less than abolition and gifted freehold” (from my above post).
JoD, The above achieved (I too live in hope) then there should be worse to come for all of those (not just builders and developers but also all of the professionals too) involved in the great leasehold scam. Yes, force a mis-selling review.
Louise Burns, of Leasehold Solutions writes:
“Could we please ask that once you receive any more detail on this offer that you pass these details on to us so we can examine the offer more closely and be in a position to advise you much more comprehensively.”
Can anoyne please comment on how and where to contact Louise Burns?
Any links, emails?
I can send any offers I get from TW.
I would also like to point out any offer for us to be able to purchase any freeholds or convert flat leases to commonhold must come with a rather long term solution without us being put under financial pressure. Many people took out mortgages and did not plan for any additional costs, therefore may not be have the necessary funds to meet the demands of the freeholders. There also has to be a reasonable amount of time given to us in order to consider the deal and consult our solicitors.
One way to contact Louie is just Google, Louie Burns Leasehold Solutions
That will get you to their website and you then have various options in the menu selection at the top.
I am sure there are also other ways to contact them
I have a doubling TW leasehold property with E&J no 6 as my freeholder . I have had no such offer , neither have any other residents! Living on the estate . Definitely not done enough !!!!
So,what’s going on here, with a deal between TW & Adriatic Land, which even includes subsequent purchasers. I was told in no uncertain terms that TW will only help buyers who bought directly from them. If it’s good enough for some, it’s good enough for all, surely? TW created this mess, let’s see them spend their £130m to sort it out for everyone who’s been affected, and end this nightmare for ALL of their customers. Wouldn’t recommend TW to my worst enemy- come to think of it, they ARE my worst enemy, though …
EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!! PETITION ALERT – PETITION ALERT!!!!!
The NLC founder Katie Kendrick has set up a FAB- U- LOUS online petition. It’s on Facebook but you can also get via other mediums.
STRICTLY REGULATE MANAGING AGENTS!
We want 1 million signatures at least There are 4 Million leaseholders in England and Wales and I believe that most are probably getting shafted by UNSCRUPULOUS FREEHOLDERS AND CROOKED MANAGING AGENTS,
Come everybody sign the petition and let’s end this INJUSTICE!!