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'On that basis it would have been perfectly reasonable for the builder to expect the buyer to purchase the freehold within the first ten year period and then the periodic increase would no longer be an issue. Indeed, the penal potential of the clause served as a means of incentivising the buyer to acquire the freehold within that ten year period.
There would have been no negligence by the solicitor in that scenario. '

You could not be more wrong. If the lessee bought the freehold after, say, 5 years, the valuation would clearly reflect the escalating rent provisions and would not have been a 'modest' price.

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