Retirement-home developer McCarthy & Stone has agreed to amend its leases after the Office of Fair Trading considered them to be in breach of the law.

McCarthy & Stone has removed a term in its leases where consumers where charged a ‘transfer’ fee of 1 per cent of the sale price when the property was sold.

The OFT said this was likely to be in breach of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Reglations 1999.

The company said it did not agree with the OFT’s view but had co-operated with discussions and agreed to the changes.

Mike Haley OFT director of consumer protection said: ‘These changes will benefit thousands of elderly and potentially vulnerable residents selling their homes.

'We are pleased that the changes have been accepted and implemented without the need for further action by the OFT.

'Moving forward, we welcome the opportunity to work with the code body for the homebuilding industry as a means to improve lease agreements across the sector. ‘