Ground rent speculators E&J Capital Partners were “compelled” to sell pensioner Trevor Nowell the freehold to his Taylor Wimpey leasehold house for £38,000.
Once Mr Nowell, 79, began the enfranchisement process, the valuation of the property’s freehold was decided by the professional advisors employed for both sides (which Mr Nowell ended up paying for, as is the case with statutory enfranchisement).
As a result, Mr Nowell has ended up paying far more for the freehold to his house than would have been the case had Taylor Wimpey sold this asset to him directly.
Mr Nowell feels his case should be considered for the Taylor Wimpey redress scheme.
The issue was raised with Taylor Wimpey and E&J Capital Partners by LKP.
Taylor Wimpey has not chosen to respond at this point.
The full statement from E&J Capital Partners, which is headed by James Tuttiett, is below:
“We have looked into the case you raised relating to Mr Trevor Nowell.
“On 3rd September 2015 E&J received a notice from Mr Nowell’s legal advisers exercising his statutory rights to compulsorily acquire the freehold of his property. As required under current legislation E&J were then required to obtain a valuation for the freehold, an external valuer was appointed and following this the external valuer engaged with Mr Nowells chosen valuer and a price of £38,000 was agreed between them.
“The reason for the increase in the valuation of the freehold was in large part a reflection of the significant reduction in interest rates which had fallen to an all-time low. Throughout this process Mr Nowell was fully represented both legally and by way of his appointed valuer. Mr Nowell was under no obligation to purchase the freehold, even after understanding the valuation, E&J were compelled to sell to Mr Nowell by Mr Nowell.
“In addition to the freehold valuation, you state that Mr Nowell paid £4,000 in legal and other costs, it’s a requirement for any leaseholder who wishes to compulsorily purchase a freehold that they pay the costs of a lawyer and valuer to represent the freeholder. E&J’s costs relating to Mr Nowell’s request to purchase the freehold totalled £1,920 including VAT and comprised valuers costs of £780 and legal costs of £1,140. The cost of those appointed by Mr Nowell must have been higher than those of the E&J appointees.
“We trust the above is clear and also that E&J in no way planned a sale to Mr Nowell but rather were compelled.
“You will appreciate that we cannot comment on the actions of Taylor Wimpey in relation to this case and note you have contacted them directly.”