A firm is warning of “a wave of litigation from home owners who were given inadequate advice from their solicitors or valuers.”
Leasehold Solutions says a number of Taylor Wimpey house buyers are considering action against their conveyancing solcitors who allegedly failed to inform them appropriately about the housebuilder’s policy to include 10-year doubling ground rents on new-build leasehold properties.
Louie Burns, managing director of Leasehold Solutions, claims some buyers “feel conned by the lease terms and claim their properties are now unsellable.”
Burns says: “The case of Taylor Wimpey highlights an endemic problem with new build property in the UK, as more and more house builders are including onerous ground rent schedules on new build leasehold properties.
“Recent legislation, including the Disclosure Act (2014) and the Consumer Rights Act (2015), gives home owners the opportunity to seek legal redress against solicitors for professional negligence, where they can prove they were not given adequate information to make an informed decision.”
The Consumer Rights Act suggests complex financial implications must be spelt out very clearly, and warns against any lack of clarity on these points.
Burns claims the Taylor Wimpey case is merely the tip of the iceberg involving other house builders.
“The cost implications can be huge for an errant solicitor (or valuer) but each case is different. In a recent example, home owners won their case by demonstrating the implications of the ground rent increases were not adequately explained, leading to a settlement which imposed an average of £17,000 in costs for each law firm involved. On a more complex case it could be much higher” claims Burns.