Do you have problem selling your property due to the ground rent clause in your lease? Have you sold you property and suffered a loss due to this clause?
We can help you with your claim against your conveyancing solicitors for failing to advise you on the onerous ground rent clause.
On 8 February 2022, the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill received Royal Assent, making it an Act of Parliament. The Act will limit ground rents on most new long residential leases in England and Wales to a token peppercorn rent per year. This effectively restricts them to a financial value of zero.
However, the Act is not retrospective, so leases entered into before the Act comes into force can still demand ground rent uncapped. The Act has been criticised for failing to protect the current 4.5 million leaseholders, some of whom are unable to sell their home due to onerous ground rent increases.
Existing leaseholders can still make a claim against their former solicitors or conveyancers if leaseholders have become aware of potentially onerous ground rent review clauses, management fees and charges in the lease, and they were not properly advised when they purchased their property before the Act comes into force. Their solicitors may have failed in their duties to their clients and should have advised buyers of the said clauses and charges in a “Report on Title” or a “Report on Contract”.
A potentially onerous ground rent clause is when the clause contains a ‘doubling’ review provision. Terms such as these may be onerous if they are reviewed on a regular basis, such as every 5 to 15 years. Although the charge may sound minimal when you first take ownership of the lease, a doubling clause may result in a considerable amount later down the line.
The Act will not apply to leases of retirement homes and other leases where there is a minimum age requirement of 55 until 1 April 2023.
We are aware of cases where ground rent doubles every 5-15 years or the increases are linked to increases to Retail Price Index (“RPI”).
We have successfully settled a claim on a doubling ground rent clause where the freeholder agreed to compensate the leaseholder for the legal cost of a deed of variation and for the diminution of value of the property.
We offer a complimentary review of your lease and other relevant documents. Following this initial review, if the firms’ analysts are of the view that you have a claim for the diminution of value for your property, we will offer to act on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that if your claim is unsuccessful you will not be charged any legal fees.