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I live in a converted house of 3 flats. All leasehold. 2 are

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I live in a converted house of 3 flats. All leasehold. 2 are approx 68 years and 1 was extended when bought 2 years ago (from the freeholder) to 99 years.
The freeholder has offered to sell the freehold to the flats at a cost of £9.5k for the 2 @ 68 years and £3.5k for the longer lease flat.
We would like to buy the freehold but one of the flats can not afford to. I am considering buying the entire freehold for the 3 flats but I am not sure what my obligations as a freeholder are.
Our current freeholder has never charged maintenance, only ground rent.
Is there any advise you can offer?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

Your obligations as the freeholder would be contained entirely within the Leases that you have been granted.

Get out your lease and read through it, noting the landlords’ covenants/obligations. There will likely be a section entitled “Landlord/Lessor’s Covenants) containing them. These are the only obligations that you are bound to perform.

Typically it extends to keeping the parts of the building that are not included in the properties demised by the Leases in repair. So, you need to check what is included in the leases and what isn’t to work out what you are responsible to repair (and pay for) and then check out to see if any work is required.

You then need to check the rights granted to the Landlord in the leases as to collection of grounds rent/services charge and whether the landlord is to arrange insurance. Obviously you will have these rights once you have bought the freehold

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Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


If the freehold is sold to someone else - are they able to start charging maintenance when the current freeholder hasn't?


 


If I want to extend my lease is it likely to cost more to extend the lease than it is to purchase the freehold for my individual flat?


(lease extension of approx 31 years on a flat valued at approx £160k)


I am getting mixed opinions when I use calculators on line. They say I could be charged around £13k for lease extension, which I don't understand if the freehold is being offered to me for £9.5k


 


Thanks

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi

If the lease empowers the landlord to charge service charges/maintenance fees then the landlord (whether it's you or anyone else) can still charge them regardless of the fact that it has not happened in recent practice.

I think you would be better off speaking to local agents about the costs of aquisition of freehold/extension of leases frankly, I don't think I'm well placed to give you an informed opinion.

Please rate my answer.

Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
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Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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