Law Society president David Greene warns low cost could be offset by consumer harm
Barratt leads the way on dealing with lease issues
Major housing developers including Barratt Developments, Bellway and Taylor Wimpey, have eliminated ground rents on new developments, with more expected to follow suit. Barratt, the first to scrap new lease ground rent, is also reportedly to offer 999-year leases on new build flats.
Campaigners welcomed the news, increasing hopes that this will end the ground rents industry. Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyancing Association, commented: “Without seeing the Barratt’s lease, it is difficult to make a quick judgement. “However, it is clearly positive [Barratt] are already taking the lead on the recommendations in the Law Commission reports, earlier in the year, to reduce issues with leases.” She added: “We now just need to see their latest draft lease to check they fully remove the creation on the financial asset in the freehold and do not include any potentially onerous terms, for example, by relying on the Landlord and Tenants (Covenants) Act rather than requiring leaseholders to pay to enter into a deed of covenant every time a flat is sold.”
Barratt Developments, Countryside Properties, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey are under investigation by the competition authority for suspect competition law breaches in relation to leasehold homes.