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Maursh

Disguised leasehold?

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We bit the bullet earlier this year and made an offer on a house. The property is freehold and built about 20 years ago on a small estate. The title deeds have come through......with 14 pages of restricted covenants

Although the property is registered as freehold, the developer made an arrangement with a managing agent to manage communal areas on the estate. As well as there being a caveat that the property cannot be sold without permission from the management, and the ubiquitous maintenance fees, restrictions also include such things as:

- cannot park various types of vehicle on your property.  (All properties on the estate have double garages)

- management can enter your property without permission for various ill-defined reasons

- management can post any sign they want..on your property

- you must repaint your house every X years, but it must be the same colour

- no modifications to your house

...and so on

There is a lot now about the leasehold time-bomb, but I am wondering how many freehold time-bombs there are as well.  With this amount of restriction the land is not really yours even if technically you own the freehold.

Much like leasehold houses, I am forever astonished that developers are able to get away with this. Do so few people read the deeds?

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Well done for reading the small print and not buying. Few read the small print.

If inclined, or a lawyer, I would study the legal definition of leasehold to see if those caveats contradict it being sold as such.

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