Carole Patterson worked hard to get on the property ladder 10 years ago when buying a £170,000 one bedroom flat in South London. With todays difficulties in gaining a foothold on the property ladder this is commendable. She has however been duped by the leasehold contract she signed which requires her to pay an annual ground rent bill which astonishingly will eventually end up at more that £1 million annually. She currently pays £1,050 per year and that fee will double every 5 years.
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She claims that her lawyer was negligent in pointing out the outrageous fees in her contract. There are three other flats in the building and none of them pay a ground rent charge, possibly due to the lawyers having wisely asked for it to be removed from the contract. This story is a disgrace as Carole Patterson paid her lawyers to look out for her best interests when buying the property in the first place and what did they do? They did the one thing lawyers know how to do and thats take the cheque.
The government launched an investigation into spiralling ground rents back in 2017 and there was a plan introduce zero ground rent for a period of 990 years. This is still to be debated in parliament and may even be pushed back until 2022. No good for decent hard working people like Carole Patterson who have essentially been tricked into these horrendous contracts. FCB Mandy Bowdler were Carole’s legal team when buying this property and she is now taking legal action against them. I hope she wins taking on these cowboys and it encourages others to do the same against the money grabbing lawyers.