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UK Watchdog Gets Commitments From Persimmon, Aviva Deal

 |  June 23, 2021

Britain’s competition regulator announced on Wednesday, June 23, that it has received commitments from housebuilder Persimmon and insurer Aviva as part of a long-running investigation into possible mis-selling of leasehold homes and high ground rents.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated Aviva will remove unfair ground rent terms and repay owners whose rents were doubled, while Persimmon will offer leasehold owners an option to get complete ownership of the property at lower rates.

The regulator launched the probe in September last year, with cases against Barratt Developments, Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, and Countryside Properties.

CMA in March asked Taylor Wimpey and Countryside to drop the unfair rent terms. Both companies then stated they would cooperate with the regulator.

CMA announced on Wednesday it was also investigating several investment firms which bought freeholds from two developers and used the same terms, adding that Persimmon also agreed to extend the time during which buyers can exchange contracts after reserving a property.

Persimmon stated the undertakings with the regulator formally end the probe into the company, while Aviva stated one of its funds had agreed to amend terms for around 1,000 leases it had acquired.

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