Call me cynical but is the recent announcement by Taylor Wimpey that it is setting aside funds to assist purchasers of its homes cope with "unfair" ground rent increases anything more than a PR gimmick?

TW clearly understood the effect of the terms it was imposing when the long leases were granted 10 years ago and has presumably made a tidy profit selling on the freeholds to third parties who could also see the potential gain.

Now that the tide has turned the negative publicity has resulted in promises of recompense and support for the homeowners who have lost out.

Far be it for me to dish the dirt on my own profession but whilst I am not really surprised that TW and other third parties may have taken advantage of less sophisticated buyers where were the lawyers and other professional advisers when all this was going on? Surely any solicitor of worth would have pointed out the undesirable effect of doubling the ground rent every year? And wouldn't they have been pointing the position out to mortgage companies as well? 

Forget TW, if I were a buyer I'd be checking what advice my solicitor gave me at the time. And if I were a PI insurer I'd be bracing myself for a deluge of potential claims.