Blowback Begins for Companies in UK Ground Rents Scandal

“Why did no one senior at the company say, ‘This will come back to haunt us’?”

For years UK developer Taylor Wimpey brushed aside public concern and criticism about its highly dubious leasehold practices, even as soaring ground fees trapped its customers in homes they couldn’t sell or renovate without shelling out thousands of pounds in usurious fees to a faceless management company. Many of these customers complain they were never told by the company or the lawyers it kindly recommended to them that the ground rents would double every ten years.

Now that the UK government has pledged to outlaw leaseholds on new-build houses while drastically restricting ground rents for apartments to a “peppercorn” value, the company has finally decided to make up for some of the damage it has caused — presumably not out of moral imperative but rather from the belated realization that screwing over a large portion of one’s customer base in a very public way does not make for a sustainable long-term business model.

This is especially true when 45% of Taylor Wimpey’s business depends on tax funds through the government’s lavish Help to Buy Scheme, by which taxpayers help developers sell new-build homes to first-time buyers first-timers buy new-build homes.

The question now is why it took so long for the company to act

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