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  • Overview

    Further changes are afoot in the residential leasehold sector following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).  The CMA expressed concern that residential leaseholders were facing expensive and unexpected increases in the ground rent payable under their lease and also in the cost of buying the freehold of their building.

    Following the CMA’s investigations and conclusions, house builder Persimmon has announced that it will allow its leaseholders to buy the freehold of their property at a discount.  Further, insurance company Aviva, which buys leaseholds from house builders has indicated that it will repay to leaseholders any increase in their ground rent which has already been paid.

    CMA Chief Executive, Andrea Coscelli, has said that she expects other housing developers and investors to take similar action.  She went on to say that if other housing developers and investors do not follow the lead of Persimmon and Aviva, they can expect to face legal action. 

    The above follows the introduction to Parliament on 12 May 2021 of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill and the government’s announcement earlier in the year to reform the current legislation to make it easier and less costly for residential leaseholders to extend the term of their lease and/or to acquire the freehold.  If and when the Bill receives Royal assent, it will implement the Government’s commitment to ensure that ground rents in new long residential leases are capped at a peppercorn. The investigation by the CMA and the lead taken by Persimmon and Aviva will hopefully help existing long residential leasehold owners who may not benefit from the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill once introduced into law to secure a lower ground rent.  In the meantime we await further announcements from the government regarding the other areas of leasehold law which it is committed to reform.
     

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    Dispute Resolution

    Our team of experienced and highly specialist lawyers includes experts in contractual, commercial and international disputes, insolvency, shareholders’, directors and partnership disputes, in disputes arising from construction/engineering projects and we also act for clients seeking to protect or defend intellectual property/IT rights.

    Property disputes including landlord & tenant

    The property world is highly diverse meaning disputes can arise in all shapes and sizes. Our team of property dispute lawyers pride themselves on their versatility to act for all types of clients, discussing their problems in clear language without unnecessary legal jargon in order to get the result they want. We don't impose standard solutions but our extensive knowledge of the property landscape means that we can give well informed advice geared to our clients’ specific needs both present and future.

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