Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Buying Advice (Flat)

Recommended Posts

Just looking for some advice.

I made an offer on a flat (cash buyer) as the price originally looked like a real bargain. After viewing the flat, I was made aware it was built in 2008 and is a bank reposession.

I've just received a call from the estate agent advising they haven't yet sourced a copy of the lease and they believe there is no management company for the block and no details regarding ground rent etc..

The reason the estate agent called is that they believe my solicitor would not recommend a purchase due to this anomaly. I've not yet instructed a solicitor to act.

This does sound a little bit dodgy and do you have any advice on how I should proceed. What are the potential implications here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I would not advise buying a flat at all if other options are available but even if I was more lenient in this case I would just walk away.

no details regarding ground rent

One of the biggest things that puts me off flats in general is the associated fees such as ground rent and I would be worried if the estate agent was unable to list all the added fees that come with the purchase.

The reason the estate agent called is that they believe my solicitor would not recommend a purchase due to this anomaly.

When I bought my house the only person I trusted was the solicitor and if he/she had suggested not to purchase, even if I loved the house, I would not have.

Plenty more fish in the sea as they say :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I've also looked at a couple very similar in every way to this .. and am now actually thinking of making an offer on one .

The people i've spoken to through enquires generally tell me that it's ok to have no management company , it generally means that nobody 's paying service charges etc .. and of course no work or maintanence gets done either !

They usually say that a management company will be found & then charges will be made in the near future ...

I just wonder if they can try & hold you accountable for any arrears ?

I'd think not being no company in place to pay .

The property will still have a lease though i would've thought ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generally I would walk away as well:


Are you sure it has a lease? You can check at land registery. Freehold flats are rare but possible.

You don't know the term of the lease (Despite being built in 2008 that doesn't tell you how long is left)

You don't know if anyone is responsible for maintenance of the building. It may not need work NOW, but I bet it will in a few years time. Who is going to do this work and who is going to pay for it? Who is the freeholder? Are they responsible? Is it some other named party in the lease (the now defunct management company perhaps)?

I owned a flat for eight and a half years. The problems I had in the first two years convinced me not to let the management company die. It was a new build flat. The freeholder sold us all 999 year leases, setup a management company named in the lease to do the maintenance and walked away.

Nine months later, with no maintenance being done, I started knocking on doors and discovered all my neighbours rented (so my fellow flat owners didn't even live nearby), no the building wasn't insured anymore, no the communal lighting wasn't being paid for, no the annual return hadn't been file and no, no one really had a clue what to do.

I sorted it all out and now know more about leasehold law than I would ever care to and I'm not a solicitor.

If the management company does not exist either:

a) Reduce your offer by 50% immediately (and if accepted, be prepared to spent MONTHS sorting out the mess) or

B) Walk away

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I owned a leasehold flat for 5 years .......it worked for me at the time ....but the relief on its sale was palpable ...never ever do it again ....ever ........ if its freehold and no established company ...you can guarantee you are walking into a backlog of £thousands ...(including legal fees for the claims )

is it a converted house ...or block ...and how many floors , how many flats ? ...

personally ........I would go with what valiant sez ...best of luck !

Edited by Tankus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

You need to be sure if it is leasehold or not. If it is, there must be a freeholder who takes overarching responsibility for the building (but the cost of that responsibility will fall on the leaseholders). Flats should always be leasehold.

A free "freehold" flats do exist, but these are even more problematic than leaseholds with a missing management. Without a lease, there is no delegation or demarcation of responsibility for the communal areas and structural maintenance, and no legal framework to distribute charges. If expensive maintenance needs doing (e.g. roof or foundations) then you will have a big and very expensive legal battle to convince other flat owners to pay for it; the likelihood is that either you and a few like-minded owners fund the work entirely yourself, or that the work doesn't get done.

If there is a lease, then the freeholder should be able to advise who the management company is. If the company has dissolved, or no management company has been appointed, then it should be possible, if you can find enough like-minded owners, to form your own management company (although there will be legal costs involved). Alternatively, it is possible that a management company has been appointed but has done no real work, and that they come out of the woodwork at a later date. In general, it is the responsibility of the management company to organise any maintenance work on the building, to pay any communal charges (e.g. electricity for corridor lighting, etc.) In the absence of a management company, then no maintenance may get done; or if it is done it as at the expense of the individual ordering it.

It is important that you establish the status of the building management, as if there is a management company and there are arrears of costs attached to the flat, then you as the new owner will be liable for them. Similarly, if the building has been allowed to deteriorate, the remedial costs could be enormous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.