Voluntary Undertakings by Abacus Land 1 (Holdco 1) Limited with the CMA

For Leases granted by Countryside Properties at Hunt Lane, Chadderton OL9

We are pleased to confirm that, following an agreement between developer Countryside Properties and Abacus, Abacus has entered into voluntary Undertakings with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), to offer to remove rent review clauses from 59 leases at Hunt Lane, originally granted by Countryside with rent review clauses doubling more frequently than every 20 years (Doubling Clauses), including where these had been replaced with reviews linked to the Retail Prices Index (RPI). 

This follows Undertakings entered into by Countryside with the CMA in September 2021 relating to all leases Countryside had granted with Doubling Clauses, including those where Countryside had sold its interest in those leases on to freeholders like Abacus. 

As a result of an offer made by Countryside to Abacus, Abacus has been able to give its own voluntary Undertakings to the CMA and offer to vary the leases at Hunt Lane for the benefit of the leaseholders, to remove the clause increasing ground rent completely.

The offer to vary the leases is open for a period of two years, or until all the relevant leases have been varied, if this is completed earlier. HomeGround will be administering the variations on behalf of Abacus. The key elements of the offer to vary are as follows:

  • The rent review clause in the leases will be removed entirely, meaning the ground rent remains at the level set at commencement, and will not be increased during the term
  • Abacus will meet its own costs of the variation and no costs or fees need to be paid by leaseholders to Abacus or HomeGround
  • Abacus will meet the leaseholders’ legal costs in connection with appointing their own solicitor up to a capped maximum sum agreed with Countryside and the CMA

We have written to all those leaseholders of Hunt Lane who own leases originally granted with Doubling Clauses with full details of the offer and how to take this up.  If you are a leaseholder at Hunt Lane, you can access full details of the offer and further information by entering your unique 12 digit Customer Reference Number on this contact form

In addition to the offer made to leaseholders at Hunt Lane, Abacus has also committed as part of its Undertakings to the CMA, not in any event to rely on any Doubling Clause in the Hunt Lane leases.

Further details about the CMA’s leasehold investigation, and the Countryside Undertakings may be found here.