Sept 15 (Reuters) - UK's Countryside Properties
will drop contract terms that lock leaseholders into rents that
double every 10 or 15 years, it said on Wednesday, ending a
year-long probe into the housebuilder by a British regulator.
The company said it would set aside 5 million pounds ($6.9
million), in addition to a 10-million-pound previous provision
to repay affected customers as part of a ground rent assistance
scheme. Ground rent is a fee paid by leaseholders to cover the
land a home sits on.
Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched
an investigation last September, filing cases against property
developers Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon
"This settlement with Countryside will mean thousands more
leaseholders are given the fair treatment they deserve," British
housing secretary Robert Jenrick said in a statement from the
CMA. "I strongly urge others to follow suit and end these
The agreement, which will help Countryside avoid potential
court action, includes dropping the 10- and 15-year clauses at
no cost to leaseholders, except in leases where the beneficiary
is a local authority or a registered provider of social housing.
In March, peer Taylor Wimpey said it was cooperating with
the regulator after it was asked to drop unfair ground rent
terms from contracts, while in June, Persimmon and a fund
managed by Aviva in June too agreed to drop similar terms.
($1 = 0.7236 pounds)
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by