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cartimandua51

Advice Re Leasehold

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I'm considering buying a ground floor / garden flat in Bath. Apparently the present freeholder who owns all the flats (it's a traditional four storey Bath terrace) is selling the flats off as they become vacant and I could probably buy the freehold. However, at present there's no management company in place and therefore no established service charges etc. Does anyone have any advice in this situation? (e.g. run like hell??!) Edited by cartimandua51

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I wouldn't be put off by the lack of a management company - lots of small conversions do without. Eventually someone needs to take the initiative and organise people, set up a sinking fund for emergencies etc. When you say you could buy the freehold, I assume you mean a 1/4 share in the freehold (assuming 4 flats). You want all the flats to share the freehold, or an external party to own the whole freehold. Remember it's the freeholder(s) who need to sort out external issues (roof falls off etc)

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You are much better off buying a share of the freehold if you can.

If the freeholder doesn't care, you can offer to draft the transfer to the flat owners. That way, each time he sells a flat, he can sell a one quarter share of the freehold at the same time. He may as well start with you.

The alternative is he sells off the freehold to some shark later on, and they start charging you £5000 a year maintenance fees.

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[quote name='24gray24' timestamp='1331935119' post='3287728']
You are much better off buying a share of the freehold if you can.

If the freeholder doesn't care, you can offer to draft the transfer to the flat owners. That way, each time he sells a flat, he can sell a one quarter share of the freehold at the same time. He may as well start with you.

The alternative is he sells off the freehold to some shark later on, and they start charging you £5000 a year maintenance fees.
[/quote]
Leaseholders have a collective right of first refusal on any sale of the freehold since the 1985 act. The sharks you really need to beware of are those already in place. Bath has some major bargepole territory dating from when Beazer wanted out before that legislation came into force, and sold a portfolio (including, I believe, both conversions of old buildings and their own builds) to the serious mafia.

I'd not be entirely sanguine about a current freeholder known to be decent, either. A corporate entity could come under new and evil management, and a decent individual owner could pass assets on to evil heirs, without triggering a right of first refusal.

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[quote name='cartimandua51' timestamp='1331913568' post='3287448']
I'm considering buying a ground floor / garden flat in Bath. Apparently the present freeholder who owns all the flats (it's a traditional four storey Bath terrace) is selling the flats off as they become vacant and I could probably buy the freehold. However, at present there's no management company in place and therefore no established service charges etc. Does anyone have any advice in this situation? (e.g. run like hell??!)
[/quote]


Most definately not - Snap their hand off!

Solving the problem of you owning the FH and there not (currently) being a management company is a fraction of the problems you may enounter buying a flat with someone else owing the FH

tim

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[quote name='tim123' timestamp='1331983768' post='3287995']
Most definately not - Snap their hand off!

Solving the problem of you owning the FH and there not (currently) being a management company is a fraction of the problems you may enounter buying a flat with someone else owing the FH

tim
[/quote]

Detto. Maintenance companies are gangsters and ground lease is a bxtch. You are very lucky to have the opprtunity to buy freehold.

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