If you bought a home directly from Taylor Wimpey you might be interested to learn of the difficulties many owners of leasehold properties built by them have experienced.
Home owners are discovering problems when they try to sell their home as mortgage lenders are reluctant to offer mortgages due to the terms of the lease and some owners have found it virtually impossible to sell their properties.
If your lease does contain a 10 year doubling rent clause and you do not want to face increasing charges amounting to thousands of pounds you will need to have the terms of your lease amended by a lawyer.
Many home owners are unaware that Taylor Wimpey have accepted the unreasonable clauses in those leases affected and subsequently announced the Taylor Wimpey Ground Rent Review Assistance Scheme. The scheme has been put in place to assist home owners with rectifying their lease.
What is the Taylor Wimpey Ground Rent Review Assistance Scheme?
Many properties built by Taylor Wimpey between 2007 and 2011 were sold as leasehold, with a 10 year doubling ground rent clause. This means that the ground rent will double every ten years throughout the lease term, in some circumstances this could be subject to a cap, but this should be checked.
Taylor Wimpey has made £130 million available to help leaseholders amend the terms of their lease through a process called a Deed of Variation and avoid the ground rent doubling in this way. On amended leases, the ground rent will instead be linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI), resulting in lower charges for homeowners.
In order to go through this process you will need to instruct a solicitor to handle the Deed of Variation.
Under the scheme Taylor Wimpey will provide up to £750 to cover your legal fees. To assist those affected, PM Property Lawyers guarantee that we will not charge you more than £750 to complete the Deed of Variation.
The Taylor Wimpey Ground Rent Review Assistance Scheme is a voluntary scheme and it is up to the leaseholder to apply. Take-up has been relatively low, but as Taylor Wimpey has not said how long the scheme will run, we recommend applying as soon as possible, if you qualify.
Why has the Taylor Wimpey Ground Rent Review Assistance Scheme been set up?
As the ground rent on a property doubles every 10 years, leaseholders will in future have to pay very significant sums.
As an example, if you bought a property in 2007 with ground rent of £500 per year, in 2017 this would have doubled to £1000, in 2027 it would double again to £2000 and by 2057 it would be £16,000 per year. So leaseholders could be faced with considerable unforeseen expense if they continue to live in the property.
A major issue is what happens when they want to sell up and move on. Leaseholders have encountered difficulties finding a buyer as some mortgage lenders refuse to lend on properties with these leases.
In many cases, Taylor Wimpey sold on the freehold of new build properties to external investors. Taylor Wimpey have agreed the lease amendment scheme with the majority of these organisations.
How long do I have?
There is no current end date for you to apply to the scheme, however, we recommend anyone affected by the doubling rent clause to look into their options as soon as possible.
We urge you not to wait until you want to sell your property to check your lease terms or when the rent review is due as the legal work can take some time to conclude.
Do I qualify for the scheme?
You qualify if you own a house or flat with a 10 year doubling ground rent clause and you bought your property directly from Taylor Wimpey.
How do I apply?
Details of how to apply and the answers to more FAQs are on the Taylor Wimpey website.
I want to buy my freehold, should I apply for the scheme?
If you are thinking of buying your freehold or extending your lease and you qualify for the scheme, it will probably be more cost effective to participate in the scheme first. The improved ground rent clause will likely make it considerably cheaper to then extend the lease or buy the freehold.
What should I do if I don’t qualify?
If you didn’t buy directly from Taylor Wimpey or don’t qualify for another reason, other options may be available. These could include extending your lease or purchasing your freehold. We will be happy to discuss your individual situation and advise on the best course of action. More information on lease enfranchisement
If your property is leasehold, but doesn’t have the doubling ground rent clause, see more about your options here.
Are there drawbacks to the Taylor Wimpey Ground Rent Assistance Scheme?
If you successfully go through the scheme, you will have to sign a settlement agreement waiving your rights to make any further claim against Taylor Wimpey regarding the ground rent clause. However, this should not prevent you from claiming against third parties or from claiming against Taylor Wimpey in respect of separate issues, e.g. building defects.
You will still have to pay ground rent and the rent review intervals may stay the same. Even if the ground rent increases are lower, you may still have significant sums to pay.
If you would like a review of your lease or to enquire about how we can assist you with a Deed of Variation please contact the PM Property Lawyers team on 0114 350 4082 or email email@example.com quoting “Taylor Wimpey”