Taylor Wimpey Ground Rent Review Assistance Scheme
Free legal service to amend terms of your lease
Many owners of leasehold houses bought from Taylor Wimpey have discovered problems when they try to sell their home. Mortgage lenders are reluctant to offer mortgages due to the terms of the lease and owners have found it impossible to sell the properties.
If you own a Taylor Wimpey home (house or flat) with a 10 year doubling ground rent clause, you may be eligible for a free legal service to amend the terms of your lease. PM Property Lawyers offers this service to leaseholders.
If you don’t know if this applies to you, we recommend you check the terms of your lease as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you want to sell your property or when your rent review is due as the legal work may take some time to conclude.
If your property is leasehold, but doesn’t have this ground rent clause, see more about your options here.
What is the Taylor Wimpey Ground Rent Review Assistance Scheme (TWGRRAS)?
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 (although in some cases this would be subject to a cap).
Taylor Wimpey has made £130 million available to help leaseholders amend the terms of their lease (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. You will need to instruct a solicitor to handle the Deed of Variation and, under the scheme, Taylor Wimpey will provide up to £750 to cover your legal fees.
PM Property Lawyers will not charge more than £750 for a Deed of Variation so you will have no legal fees to pay.
This is a voluntary scheme and it is up to the leaseholder to apply. So far, 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 it been set up?
As the ground rent 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 double to £1000, in 2027 it would be £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. They have agreed the lease amendment scheme with the majority of these organisations.
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.
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.
How do I apply?
Details of how to apply and the answers to more FAQs are on the Taylor Wimpey website.
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.
Are there drawbacks to the TWGRRAS?
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.
Please contact the PM Property Lawyers team on 0114 249 6926 or email email@example.com if you have any questions.