Checkaco News: Dodgy landlords, holiday deposits and don’t get ripped off when buying an ebike or a horse

The outrageous small print that can trap you into paying thousands in escalating ground rent

 Developers selling new homes are often found guilty of it as are private landlords looking to trap their buyers into paying through the nose for so-called ground rent.

When buying a home whether it is a flat or a house the small print may contain a charge for ground rent. You own the bricks and mortar but not apparently the ground on which they stand according to the small print of the purchase. This gives the landlord who continues to own the ground a chance to increase the rent annually. If it is a development of several flats or homes where there are shared amenities like a garden or grounds then upkeep could account for the rent. However rogue companies have been using this loophole to charge escalating amounts of money each year.

In one case highlighted in the Daily Mail this month Carole Patterson in London was expected to pay a ground rent which doubled every five years. Within 50 years of signing the purchase she would be paying a million pounds annually for no benefit. Sadly cases like Carole’s have become common and some of the worst culprits are well known developers building homes on a large scale. They see it as an easy way to make cash without having to provide a service.

The Government have been aware of the scam for years and have promised to introduced legislation to reform the practice next year. In the meantime if you want to avoid the trap when you buy a home do a Checkaco on the builder or landlord and ensure you read the small print when you sign a contract.

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Staycation deposits
With huge numbers of UK citizens opting for a staycation this year due to restrictions on foreign travel there’s been a growing concern over British holiday companies upping their prices and worse.

Anna Timms in the Guardian highlighted the issue of lost deposits where a booked and paid for holiday in advance is suddenly declared to be unavailable.

She wrote of one case in reply to one reader who lost £900: “I hope your experience doesn’t herald a repeat of last July when, and sister company Hoseasons, cancelled and resold the bookings of scores of customers, including one by author Michael Rosen. blamed “technical” problems caused by a 455% increase in demand. Then, as now, a record number of Britons were having to holiday in the UK and accommodation was at a premium. Other customers are reporting sudden cancellations of their booking on review website Trustpilot.”

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Pic: The Horse and Pony Protection Society

Beware the ‘friend’ of the studs
Buying a horse is for most people is not an everyday purchase. One issue that has been highlighted is where a potential new owner goes to a shared stud to look and choose a horse and when satisfied pays a deposit to the owner. The money however is not always paid to the stud but to a private person who may simply use the stabling facilities at the stud – or worse have a connection with the stud or its staff which allows them to give the impression they represent the stud. Before paying any cash it is essential to run a credit check on the seller rather than trusting the stud is the owner which may have nothing to do with the seller. It’s not unknown for rogues to give the impression they own the horse for sale, take the cash and simply disappear having used the stud as a front.

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Pic: The Guardian

No ebike for your money
There is a boom in the sale of ebikes – those handy electric powered bicycles that make cycling easy for commuting or pleasure. Getting hold of one can be tricky as there is a huge demand at the recognised dealers – both in shops and online. Scammers have been setting up fake ebay accounts with images of ebikes for sale. Victims are fooled by the sophisticated websites and trust the firms are genuine parting with several thousand pounds for their bikes which they are assured will be shipped within days. Of course the bikes never arrive as they don’t exist. Most of these scammers have to have some form of contact detail with names and addresses. Run a Checkaco credit check on them and you may be shocked to find that the scammer has lifted someone else’s details as a cover.

Get the low down on any firm or individual for £7.95 at

There are rogues out there who pose as legitimate businesses or are firms with terrible credit histories. Before you pay a cash deposit to them do a credit check with Checkaco for £7.95 and see if they are legitimate. All firms have tell-tale credit histories which reveal if they can be trusted with your money. Checkaco’s credit checks are accurate and up to date so you can spot if the trader you choose is safe – and won’t go bust. Get the low down on any firm or individual at

The ratings are poor, fair, good or excellent – find out all their details now for just £7.95 at

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