Couple ‘trapped’ in home over lease clause

A newlywed couple claim they are trapped in their home after discovering a legal clause in their lease that means ground rent will double every 10 years.
 
Nathan and Tasha Stewart put their house in Soham, Cambridgeshire, on the market last October – four years after buying the new build property from Taylor Wimpey.
 
After accepting an offer, the couple were told that the buyer’s solicitor had asked for a sales pack from the ground rent company and uncovered the clause.
 
Nathan said: “The solicitor told us the majority of mortgage companies won't lend on it, so I quickly contacted Taylor Wimpey to ask them to do something, because otherwise I would lose the four-bed semi we were buying.
 
“They did nothing, the sale fell through and I lost about £2,500.”
 
Nathan said his conveyancing solicitor never told him about the ground rent clause when he bought the house.
 
Nathan and Tasha's ground rent started at just £150 per year then doubled in January to £300. If the couple stay in their home until their 70s, their annual payment would rise to £4,800.
 
He added: “We’re trapped. I can't sell the house to anyone because mortgage companies won't lend on it.”

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