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  1. ITV Report

Homeowners across the South West stuck in property trap

Hundreds of homeowners across the South West could find that they are stuck in a property trap.

A hidden lease clause - called doubling - has left many with an annual ground rent that doubles in price every few years. It makes their homes far less attractive when it comes to selling on.

The hidden lease clause.

George Muirhead from Swindon was horrified to find out he is a victim after he discovered his ground rent doubled every 10 years for 50 years.

He signed a contract with developer Taylor Wimpey. He says the value of his flat is continually decreasing and putting off any potential buyers.

Taylor Wimpey built several new builds from 2007 to 2011 which have been sold with a lease clause that was rarely spotted - the ground rent doubling every 10 years.

Greenwood Court in Swindon was built by Taylor Wimpey in 2007.

However, Sir Peter Bottomley MP for Worthing claims Taylor Wimpey weren't the only ones.

He has raised the issue in the House of Commons, seeking a change in lease laws and compensation for the victims.

A facebook group created by campaigner Katie Kendrick has over 1500 members who have fallen victim to the property trap. She says "they are literally prisoners in their own homes".

A facebook page has been created to highlight the property trap that many homeowners are totally unaware of.

Taylor Wimpey have released a statement on ground rent and will be conducting a review of the leases in order to help their customers. This should be completed by the end of April.

We are reviewing these leases which we stopped using on sites after 2011.

Our priority is to do a full and thorough review to understand how to help our customers and we will come back to the by the end of April.

– Taylor Wimpey