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Leasehold with Freehold

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  • Leasehold with Freehold

    I have recently had an offer for the leasehold of a ground floor flat accepted, with the inclusion of the freehold for the entire building (one other flat upstairs with 999 year lease). Whilst naive on my part I asked the agent specifically about the roof liability and had been led to understand that the upstairs flat had all liability for the roof.

    The leases came through the post today, and the situation is a bit odd in the the lease for downstairs is full repair, and the one for upstairs is 50% liability with the freehold (i.e. downstairs) in the event that the roof needs replacing.

    Being a first time buyer I am inexperienced I am a bit miffed with the agent. However I really like the flat, and am trying to understand if this is a common set up, and whether this is something that people would normally seek to mitigate in any way? It seems odd to me that potentially I would need to pay 100% of any underpinning but upstairs would only have to pay 50% of the roof (if that makes sense).

    Could anyone advise if this sounds like a regular setup (as the agent is frantically trying to assure us) and whether the revalation of this information has an effect on the value?

    Any ideas that could mitigate this would be great ;-)

    Cheers
    Andy

  • #2
    Re: Leasehold with Freehold

    It is not usual. Usually, either each flat would pay half the cost of maintaining and repairing the structure and exterior (including roof and foundations) or each would be obliged to maintain its part (ie: ground floor flat is responsible for foundations and first floor flat for the roof)

    As you have identified, this means that the ground floor is bearing more than its fair share of liability. This is bound to affect its value, though I cannot say to what extent

    As to mitigating the problem, I don't see there is anything realistic to suggest, unless the upstairs flat owner is prepared to agree to a variation that distributes the liability more equally - unlikely, I imagine
    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
      Re: Leasehold with Freehold

      I agree with Justin N. This is a typical foul up such as occurs with leases of flat conversions.

      Particularly if the leases were not garnted at the same time or not prepared by the same soliictors it is quite possible for them to be inconsistent. Builder who has done conversion wants his money and isn't very interested in the finer points of the lease wording - his solicitor feels pressured to produce draft lease and can get it wrong because of this.
      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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      • #4
        Re: Leasehold with Freehold

        Thanks guys, apologies for not getting back sooner as I had problems with logging in again ;-)

        There may be ways to sort this out, such as a reduction in price coupled with sorting sharing the freehold with the other flat (in exchange for them being able to do a loft conversion).

        However, all of my friends have advised to walk away. As a ftb I think that is probably the best course of action as frankly any decent solicitor will pick up these problems, so unless it's sorted (which I can see as a long and painful process) it will repeat.

        Thoughts? (if only to validate my own)

        Cheers,
        Andy

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        • #5
          Re: Leasehold with Freehold

          The only other option is to point out the problem to the seller and say you will proceed with the purchase if/when it is sorted out. Otherwise, yes, walk away
          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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          • #6
            Re: Leasehold with Freehold

            Can someone help - I own a top floor ex local authority flat in Scotland - there are 6 flats in the block and only 2 of them, including my flat, is owned the rest are council flats. Any repairs required to the buidling or gardens etc are maintained by the Council and I have to pay my share.

            My question is this - is my flat leasehold or freehold? I dont think it is either as I do not own the grounds or the building just the flat - does that mean the Council are the freeholders for my flat?

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            • #7
              Re: Leasehold with Freehold

              misteex - please see my reply in the specific thread you started on this
              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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