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Freehold as well as Leasehold?

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  • Freehold as well as Leasehold?

    Hi,

    I am in the process of buying my first property, the property is described as being Freehold. I have since been informed that the property is Freehold but is also Leasehold. I have a copy of the "official copy of register of title" document which mentions Freehold land but also a lease. I also have a Land Reg TR1 form which states that 2.Property:"All the leasehold and freehold interest in *property*" and then goes on to mention the Freehold mentioned in the title number * and the lease again. I have asked my solicitor and have been assured that the property is Freehold, but i am not convinced as there are no documents proving the transfer of the freehold to the vendor. I am also concerned about what will happen if it is the case that the property is freehold and leasehold, when the lease runs out would i retain all titles on the property and would it just revert to freehold?

    If anyone has any knowledge of a similar situation or advice on what questions i should ask or where i should go from here i would really appreciate it.

    Many Thanks

    Jacob

  • #2
    It sounds as though your solicitor has not done a very good job of explaining things to you!

    It may well be that the seller owns both the freehold and the leasehold interests in the property, but that one is subject to a mortgage (or both are subject to different mortages) or one is owned by a couple and the other by one of them, so that the freehold and leasehold interests have not merged.

    If the freehold interest and the leasehold interest are in respect of exactly the same property, and both are transferred to you (with any mortgages being cleared), then the two interests will merge and you will acquire an unencumbered freehold interest - the leasehold interest will disappear

    I hope this helps
    This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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    • #3
      Leasehold and Freehold

      I have had this situation too. I bought my house in 2000 and was told that the house had both a freehold and a leasehold and I got both of them (I hope). They could not be merged as the area covered by the leasehold was slightly larger than the freehold (in my case the leasehold includes a strip of land beyond the rear fence, about 1m in width).

      I am in the process of selling my property now so I am waiting for this to cause my buyers the same amount of confusion it caused me!!! All I will say is, as long as you are buying the Freehold interest it should be fine. The only issue will be if you can't merge the leasehold into the freehold then you will have to go through this story again when you come to sell. As I cannot merge them I am wondering if I can just have the leasehold cancelled in some way. Anyone else with any experience? Please help!!

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      • #4
        If you surrender the leasehold interest (to yourself, presumably: I'm not sure that works!) you would lose the "extra" strip of land, but presumably that wouldn't bother you.

        It might be more practical to contact the Land Registry and find out the details of the freehold title out of which the strip of land was leased. It may have been included in the leasehold title in error, in which case correcting the error should allow the two titles to be merged; or it may be that the freehold owner of the strip of land will either transfer the freehold interest in that strip to you or accept a surrender of the lease hold interest in that strip, tidying up both titles either way
        This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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        • #5
          It is a fairly common thing to have the two titles and trying to merge the titles does often cause odd strips of land to be lost.

          We have rear accessways in our area where the lease include rights to use them but this does not come witht he freehold so we keep the two titles going to show the long leasehold right to use the access - not found it to cause a problem except with cheap HIP providers who put the worng title int he HIP!
          RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
          As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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