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Developer scraps leasehold ground rent rises

BBC News logo BBC News 9/15/2021
a view of a city street filled with lots of traffic © PA Media

Thousands of leaseholders who bought homes from a major housing developer will not longer be subjected to ground rents that double every 10 or 15 years.

Countryside Properties agreed to remove contract terms that cause ground rents to double in price, after a probe by the Competition and Markets Authority.

It means affected leaseholders' ground rents will remain at the amount charged when they first bought their homes.

The watchdog said leaseholders could breathe a "sigh of relief".

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: "No one should feel like a prisoner in their home, trapped by terms that mean they can struggle to sell or mortgage their property.

"We will continue to robustly tackle developers and investors - as we have done over the past two years - to make sure that people aren't taken advantage of."

The commitment from Countryside comes after the CMA launched enforcement action against four housing developers in September 2020.

The regulator launched its investigation into leaseholds in 2019 because it was worried that leaseholders were facing huge and unexpected increases in the cost of buying a freehold or massive increases in ground rents.

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