Light at the end of the leasehold nightmare tunnel
The leasehold and ground rent scandal is not the UK housebuilding sector’s finest hour. However, to be fair to the housebuilders the facts were not hidden, but perhaps they could have been more clearly explained.
As reported by the BBC yesterday Persimmon and Aviva have agreed to change the way they operate, both offering retrospective solutions. This suggests that with hindsight they agree the terms of the leases could have been clearer, or with foresight, the reputational costs of not doing so significantly outweigh the costs of doing so.
Whichever side of the fence you sit on this is a good result for those caught up in the leasehold nightmare and I believe that with Aviva and Persimmon taking the lead others will follow.
That Persimmon is taking the lead is a clear case of the management team under Dean Finch practising what they preach. They are serious about engaging and serving all stakeholders not just shareholders and I believe that this move will ultimately benefit all their stakeholders not just those holding Persimmon leases.
Shelter is one of our basic needs and putting people above profit is the right thing to do. I am not against profit, but doing the right thing is often turns out to be a profitable path to follow.