In recent years it has emerged that purchasers of leasehold properties are being treated unfairly in a number of key respects.
If you have purchased a property in the last 6 years and have suffered loss or may suffer loss in the future, we may be able to help you have the position rectified and/or recover damages for losses or abortive legal costs you have sustained.
The Competition and Markets Authority who reported on the 28th February has found “troubling evidence of potential mis-selling and unfair contract terms in the leasehold housing sector”.
There will be legislation in due course, but this does not assist buyers who are already suffering or may suffer loss.
In relation to ground rent the problem is that homeowners are having to pay escalating ground rents which in some cases may double every 5 or 10 years. This increase is often built into contracts and as a result there may be a significant reduction in the value of the property purchased unless something is done to rectify the position. Most mainstream lenders will not provide a mortgage and worst still it will make it very difficult to sell your property.
It is not every ground rent increase that gives rise to a potential claim, we will need to look at how often there is an opportunity to increase it and the extent to which it increases to decide if there is a claim.
It is the duty of your conveyancer to advise you of any doubling ground rent clause so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you should proceed with the purchase. If not, there may be a right of action against the law firm that acted for you.
Remedies we can explore could be approaching the developer who sold you the property to agree to a “deed of variation” to remove the problematic section of the contract, or to sue for compensation for the loss of value in your property and/or for the onerous part of the doubling ground rent clause.
We would instruct an expert Valuer on your behalf to assess the extent of your potential loss.
If the Freeholder of the property agreed to a variation, we would arrange for a conveyancing Solicitor to prepare a deed of variation to rectify the position, if agreement was reached.
At Specters we have significant experience and expertise in claims of this nature, whether they be against your former conveyancing solicitor or developer.
We may require you to pay for an initial valuer’s report, but if we are satisfied there is a good claim in receipt of this we may pursue your claim on a No Win No Fee basis which means if you are not successful you do not have to pay us.