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Taylor Wimpey’s hopes of containing the doubling ground rent scandal has been dealt a blow as another estate is mobilising and calling in two MPs.
Speakman Gardens, at Prescot, in Knowsley, Liverpool, is a mixed site of 250 houses and flats spanning the constituencies of Labour MPs Marie Rimmer and George Howarth.
A Facebook page has been set up and local and national media are being contacted.
Yet again the housebuilder seized the opportunity to build leasehold houses as the North West has a large amount of these dating from industrial times.
But whereas old properties carry minimal ground rents – LKP has been contacted by leaseholders paying £3 a year – those at Speakman Gardens are £250pa and double every ten years.
Many of the buyers here used the taxpayer support Home Buy scheme, and then its successor the Help To Buy scheme, where taxpayers underwrite mortgages.
Indeed, Taylor Wimpey’s PR department got national press coverage for Speakman Gardens in May 2013 after Catherine McClean, 26, a nurse, and her boyfriend Nikolai Ivanovic, 25, a former Queen’s Guard, bought the first Help To Buy home in the country.
Three neighbours – Lisa Chapple, Lisa Roxby and Julie Stewart – have written to the MPS.
Lisa Chapple moved into her home on December 18 2009 having bought off plan. With her neighbours, she was informed of a ground rent payment of £250 that would be payable each year.
“Although this seemed steep, we were assured that this was quite standard on new properties and accepted the explanation from Taylor Wimpey and their recommended solicitor,” Ms Chapple tells the MPs.
“It has come to light in the last week that in fact the ground rent will double every 10 years and that our payment on 1st January 2018 will be £500 and will lead to £8,000 per year in future years with the doubling ‘ground rent view clause’.”
“We relied on the trust of Taylor Wimpey and their solicitor to explain to us all aspects of the sale, particularly as we were first time buyers and using the Home Buy scheme to get a foot onto the property ladder.
“Both Taylor Wimpey and their solicitor took time to go through contracts, check our understanding and explain details to us, yet conveniently failed to go over this particular clause.
“For those of us who choose to stay in our property here for the long term, this means that there will be a point in the future that we are paying more in ground rent per year, than we would be on our mortgage payments which will lead to significant financial difficulty for many.
“For those of us who plan to move at some point, we are going to really struggle to sell our property with this clause in place, leading to the properties being unsellable and potentially leading to these and many other new builds being repossessed with the owners forced into bankruptcy.”
“Many of us have used the government ‘Home Buy scheme’ to buy our first house and are now potentially going to suffer significant financial difficulty in the future due to this extortionate increase in ground rent.”
A further cause of anger for Ms Chapple is that she lost three years of the lease on purchase – even though she says she bought off plan – and so is paying the doubling ground rent after only seven years, rather than 10.
Taylor Wimpey is invited to comment.
Oh dear! Once again the spectre of the ghastly TW raises it head. Well, it seems that the good men and women are revolting against these dishonourable and allegedly ‘bent’ practices ( That’s a word spivs understand) BENT!! I have every faith that if the leaseholders stand strong together they will bring TW and their Ilk to their knees!! Hooorah for LKP.
Taylor Wimpey you are a national disgrace. You have “stolen” taxpayers money, my money, in order to get rid of your properties.
You have scrounged off the Help To Buy Scheme but, you have NOT sold a house, which is what the scheme depicts it is for.
In actual fact you have just sold a piece of paper with totally unacceptable and immoral terms in it, called a Lease.
We need some serious government intervention here.
join the face book page : national leasehold campaign – 100 members in a few hours, the more publicity with these issues the better . encourage others to join too
Hear hear!! Enough already. Action needs to implemented by the government to stop this forthwith and the courts should be ready and willing to prosecute the dodgy solicitors involved in this ‘FRAUD’.
Taylor Wimpey stated in another article that they only did leases that doubled in GR every few years between 2007 & 2011.
The newspaper article above is dated 2013 so how come the couple concerned, and others on the estate have GR that doubles.
Because Taylor Wimpey were ‘ Economical With The Actualite ‘. How on earth are the shafted leaseholders expected to believe any promises of recompense from these lying Rouges? They must be FORCED to buy back the freeholds for the leaseholders or arrested and charged with whatever criminal act is applicable.
This makes me so cross. Although other developers haven’t got the doubling clause they r no better. Bellway in my case has sold us a home using the government’s help to buy scheme. Taking advantage of the housing boom and exploiting customers. All housing developments do not openly advertise they are leasehold. In the brochure for rivacre village in Ellesmere Port there is not one mention of them being leasehold.
I really really hope something is done for us who are left in this mess. Bellway have now washed their hands with my complaint and have told me to communicate via their solicitors in future. Unfortunately we are not all in the position of hiding behind expensive lawyers. We are honest working people who just want them to.do the right thing !!
This fight is far from over. I have recorded an interview for the Victoria Derbyshire show that is due to be aired soon. More cases will come out the wood work once the word starts to spread.
katie, do not despair.Take a deep breath, think about the advice you were given by Bellway/.Solicitors when you were purchasing the property. Was the solicitor ‘recommended’ by Bellway? Did your neighbours use the same firm? If you used an independent solicitor did they not highlight the property (house) was leasehold? Somebody is responsible for the smoke and mirrors/ Incompetence! I think there will be solicitors willing to take up your case pro bono, so put yourself out there on every medium possible to garner exposure. I think you are doing brilliantly- keep going and don’t be cowed by Bellways mantra of ‘ talk to my ‘Lawyer’. Ha.
I used Bellways recommended solicitors as did many on this development. My Solicitors never highlighted any of these issues to me. I feel massively miss led and let down. I knew the house was leasehold but was told it was virtually freehold and I fully intended to buy the freehold as soon as I was legally entitled to do so. After 2 yrs. However Bellway had sold my freehold before this point which meant I was not able to purchase as a fair reasonable price like others had.
I thought paying a solicitor to act in my nest interests was their job.
I will plod on with this fight. I’ve set up a national Facebook page now called national leasehold campaign as well as local one called Leasehold Scandal Ellesmere port ( a national problem also).
Katie, check out Lindas posts on this site.. She in a similar situation and seems pro active as are you. I when is your Victoria Derbyshire debut? I will look at your Facebook page set up. Well done!
Thanks Kim. I don’t know when it’s going to be on yet. I’ll let u know. The one I’ve done for BBC news north west is being shown next Sunday morning at 11.30.
We have made contact through the Facebook page. National leasehold campaign. Thanks Kim And please join this group
The LKP published articles and the attached comments by supporters on the 4th and 16th November summed up the TW situation. They needed then to act fast and come up with a just solution. Same goes for Bellway, Persimmons etc.
The two month delay so far and any further delay will only see the situation snowball even more. , So they need to act fast to save all their “valued ” customers months of expense, worry and hassle, and maybe at the same time restore some reputation for themselves.
I am so glad that has been cleared up.
LEASEHOLD Houses, I purchased a leasehold house in 1983 and purchased the freehold for £350. I also thought those days were far behind us. You
mention what we have now from the likes of Taylor Wimpey and other builders is a national disgrace. They like other parasites find a host who they can live off.
I am not surprised at the way leasehold housing has spread.
The governments between them have had 30 years to prevent this abuse which began with companies such as McCarthy & Stone and Peverel in circa 1992/93 where pensioners were seen as cash cows who could be milked.
I became aware of the milking in 2007/08 when Area Managers collectively began to lie about replacing Warden Call Systems which they claimed were obsolete. They then moved on to cheating pensioners out of legitimate insurance claims again by telling porky’s, stating claims for escape of water were not covered by insurance.
I also believe this saga will eventually bring the house/flats down around their ears.
We need to have names and contacts for these Barratt type building companies.
We can produce a top ten which we can pass on to the deaf MPs who will be forced to act once the public have been informed.
You make mention of the”Abuse which began with companies such as McCarthy & Stone and Peverel”in light of the recent highly publicised guilty verdicts in the HBOS fraud trial with lurid tales of Yachts, holidays and prostitutes , the role of HBOS in funding McCarthy & Stone and Peverel needs much closer investigation.
I feel that we are being drowned by the latest postings regarding Leasehold Housing. The Leasehold Abuse as posted, began with companies such as McCarthy & Stone and Peverel, now trading as Firstport Retirement.
You state ”in light of recent highly publicised guilty verdicts in the HBOS fraud trial, where the role of HBOS in funding McCarthy & Stone and Peverel needs much closer investigation. Please provide guidance of where this can be seen.
Checks on the role of Firstport Retirement sees the Landlord, Meridian Retirement Housing Services Limited, a Sister Peverel Company is a “DORMANT COMPANY” having no employees, yet we pay them our Ground Rent?
Meridian Retirement Housing Services Limited, a company incorporated in 1984:- Currently 2 active directors and 2 active secretaries:- circa 2016
ACTIVITY:- Company is DORMANT or NO LONGER TRADES
PEOPLE : Active Directors: Mr Nigel Howell & Mr Ouda Saleh
SHAREHOLDER:- One Shareholder
GROUP STRUCTURE:- Knight Square Limited
CLASSIFICATION:- Management of Real Estate
Including in our Tripartite Lease are also our Freeholders:-
Our Freeholder M&B Freeholds, only has a Box Office Number with links I believe to Long Harbour. There is I believe links to David Cameron’s wife who is a member of the Astor Family, who are known for having significant shares in Freeholds?
The Landlord and Freeholder are not contactable, this obviously suites Firstport Retirement unless you know better.
MH are you not joining Katie and Linda’s excellent Facebook campaign? You and I have disagreed on many occasions, however I am sure you can give some valued adivice to their site.
I have joined both the Speakman Gardens and the National Facebook campaign.
I made a comment about it on LKP yesterday. The young ladies who started these campaigns are very impressive and have made good progress. It will be a long hard slog to put this right.
The gist of my comment was that all these unfortunate purchasers should not have been put to all this trouble, anxiety and expense to right a situation which is so obviously wrong.
The Government (who surely must realise this) should step in now and insist that these Developers come to a quick and fair solution.
A suggestion was made in my other comment.
The Government also needs to look at the whole question of Leasehold including the unfair practises which exist with Retirement Complexes.
Katie/ Linda My requested to join your Facebook campaign is ‘Pending’. Let’s see how we can force these individuals to act morally?
Kim r u in the Facebook group now? It’s growing rapidly
Well folks tonight the condescending Leaseholder event will take place which is fully booked (I wonder why!!) and tomorrow the LEASE conference will take place with speakers :
Minister of State for Housing and Planning
President of the Supreme Court
CEO of LEASE
Senior Legal Adviser for LEASE
Independent regulator for ARMA
CEO of ARMA
to name but a few. You would think between them after so many years of trying they could come up with some concrete answers to all the Leasehold problems but I for one won’t be holding my breath!!
I assume that Leasehold Houses with doubling Ground Rents will be top of the Agenda
Shall we get onto Lease today to make sure it is.
I have just contacted them to request it
To cut a long story short, leaseholders are not home owners, they are simply tenants. And that is the fundament issue that needs to be addressed by the law makers.
Miscellaneous!!! I have reported my managing agent to the police for ‘ Theft and obtaining money by deception’. I’ll keep you abreast of developements.