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Leasehold on delapidated property?

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  • Leasehold on delapidated property?

    Hi, hopefully someone here may be able to help me.

    I am a first time buyer who has been fortunate enough to fall deeply in love with a property, sadly however it has turned out to be a little more complicated than I had first anticipated.

    A quick run down:
    The property is an ex-gymnasium, above a shop, in a conservation area, and is still listed as commercial. In order to get a change of use to residential, and therefor a residential mortgage, I must have a planning application approved. This is about to be submitted.

    The gym is in a state of prolonged vacancy (3 years+) and disrepair. It needs re-wiring, re-plumbing, new windows, and a total internal re-build to make it into a family "maisonette".

    Now, here is where my confussion lies.

    What is on offer is a 125 year leasehold with a £100pa ground rent.

    In this situation what is the responsibility of the freeholder?

    I have seen the property, and know what work is involved. I am willing to take on the time and costs of any major work, and want to be able to pour my heart into this project. In an ideal world I would be making an offer for the freehold of such a property. However with it being situated above a shop, is this even possible? And if so, where is the line drawn with regards to their responsibilty?

    I hope somebody is able to offer a little advice to someone feeling a little overwhelmed.



  • #2
    It will depend on the terms of the lease who is responsible for what. There is no hard and fast rule here. You would probably need to get any plans for alterations etc approved by the freeholder.

    Also I assume you have checked that your proposed mortgage lender will lend on a property over a shop, as a lot won't.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.


    • #3
      Under normal circumstances the lease includes an obligation on behalf of the landlord for maintenance & repair on the property at the costs of the tenant. depending on the number of units at the property and the level of co-operation likely from the landlord, I imagine that if you are happy to meet the costs of refurbishment then it would be encouraged.

      The first stage would be to consult both the landlord and your local planning department about any proposed changes.