On Wednesday 22 December 2021, Taylor Wimpey plc announced that the CMA’s investigation into the historical sale of leasehold properties with doubling ground rent clauses by the company is closed, following the agreement of voluntary undertakings. Further information can be found here.
In 2017, Taylor Wimpey launched the Ground Rent Review Assistance Scheme (GRRAS) which was put in place to help customers who purchased from us, and currently own, homes which have a lease with a ten year doubling ground rent clause (‘doubling leases’).
This scheme, offered by Taylor Wimpey on a voluntary basis to qualifying customers, followed a comprehensive review which looked at the concerns raised regarding the saleability and mortgageability of these properties, and included detailed discussions with freeholders, lenders and third party experts.
For further information on the scheme, including qualifying criteria and guidance on how to start the process, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.
This is a scheme introduced by Taylor Wimpey in 2017, to help our customers who purchased from us and who still own homes (houses or apartments) that have a lease with a ten year doubling ground rent clause.
This scheme, offered by Taylor Wimpey on a voluntary basis to qualifying customers, was introduced following a comprehensive review which looked at the concerns raised regarding the saleability and mortgageability of these properties, and included detailed discussions with freeholders, lenders and third party experts.
The scheme helps our customers convert their ten year doubling leases to an alternative, RPI-based structure, specifically incorporating materially less expensive ground rent review terms, via a legal document called a deed of variation.
From our discussions with lenders, we are of the view that this measure also allays the concerns raised by some of our customers regarding the saleability or mortgageability of their homes due to the doubling leases.
While Taylor Wimpey is not legally obliged to take any action with regard to doubling leases, we recognise that these leases have caused concern to some of our customers and we want to help. We are committed to helping to resolve the issue.
Customers who own homes (houses or apartments) which have a lease with a ten year doubling ground rent clause, and who purchased their home directly from Taylor Wimpey, can apply for the scheme.
If you believe you qualify for the scheme, click here to begin the application.
Please note that this is a voluntary process and there is no obligation on customers to make an application, or to complete an application once it has been started.
Customers who wish to apply for assistance under the scheme should start the process by completing the online application here.
Once the initial application has been completed, and if you qualify for assistance, we will guide you through the next steps of the process.
Leases will be converted via a legal document called a deed of variation.
A deed of variation is a legal document used when amending or varying an existing contract. It records the changes that have been agreed by all parties.
The scheme is only available to customers who purchased their property directly from Taylor Wimpey, since we were involved directly in their purchase.
If you did not purchase directly from Taylor Wimpey but would like to discuss the options available to you with regard to your lease, we recommend you get in touch with your current freeholder directly and/or the solicitor who acted for you on that transaction.
No. The scheme concerns homes which were purchased directly from Taylor Wimpey and that have a ten year doubling ground rent clause within the lease.
The use of RPI-linked leases is a nationally recognised and long established measure and is the most commonly used index for price increases across the leasehold residential sector. Should you wish to review the details, all of the information regarding the ground rent charges and the inflation-linked ground rent review policy are outlined in your lease.
We have reached agreements with freeholders to enable the significant majority of our customers with a ten year doubling lease to convert their ground rent terms to an RPI-based structure. We continue to engage in a constructive dialogue with the remaining, small number of freeholders that own the leases to properties built by Taylor Wimpey with this type of doubling lease. Discussions continue to progress well and we are optimistic that we can reach agreements that help our customers.
We are optimistic that we can achieve this for all our customers, but there are other routes available to us if this cannot be achieved effectively with the remaining, small number of freeholders.
The Government’s Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill published in 2021, when law, will restrict the ground rent that can be charged on new residential long leases in England to ‘peppercorn’ (i.e. zero in practice). The Bill aims to ensure that leaseholders do not face significant ground rent liabilities.
If you have a lease with a ten year doubling ground rent clause, the Government’s ground rent proposals will not impact your lease as they apply only to new residential long leases. Taylor Wimpey has introduced peppercorn ground rents on all new developments that started being sold since October 2020.
The CMA’s investigation into leasehold remains open. We are continuing to engage with the CMA and are working with them to find a satisfactory resolution.
Our scheme remains open for eligible applications. If you have an existing application and would like to pause it please let us know, but please be aware we are unfortunately unable to give guidance as to how long it will take for the CMA’s investigation to be concluded.