FTSE 100 national house builder Persimmon is under pressure to give all of those it sold leasehold homes freehold ownership for free.
Campaigners have called for the move after Persimmon reached an out-of-court settlement with leaseholders at one of its sites in Wales.
The company’s St Edeyrn’s Village site in Cardiff had been under investigation by local Trading Standards after home owners at the site complained they were unaware that they had bought the homes via leasehold tenure.
After Cardiff City Council said it would consider a planned prosecution over mis-selling by Persimmon at the site, the company has written to the leaseholders offering to give all leaseholders on the estate the freehold title without charge and to reimburse any ground rent paid.
In a letter sent to buyers at the site seen by the Daily Mail, Martin Smith, managing director of Persimmon’s East Wales division, admitted “we could have communicated better or more clearly when you first moved in” and that his sales team had not been clear enough that the homes sold on the estate in 2016 and 2017 were leasehold.
It has not been a good 12 months for Persimmon, during which it has faced criticism over the build quality of its homes and also lost its CEO David Jenkinson following a public outcry about the company’s generous bonus scheme for its senior directors.
Jenkinson also drew criticism from MPs after blaming home buyers for ‘not knowing’ they were buying leasehold properties during a parliamentary committee hearing.