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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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myself and my parter own a detached house converted into flats

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myself and my parter own a detached house converted into flats in the 70's.
We share the freehold and each own a flat.
We'd like to sell the top flat but i'm not sure if we should sell as share of freehold or as a leasehold.

Thanks for your question.

You would either have to sell it as a leasehold with a long lease or sell it with a leasehold with long lease with a share of freehold.

If you were selling as just a leasehold with a long lease then you would retain ownership of the freehold in the current way. The advantage of this is that if in the lease ground rent is to be paid then you can enforce the payment of ground rent from the owner of the leasehold.

The downside is that symbolise the landlord will have responsibilities in respect of the repair of the building of which the leasehold flat is not included. This means that you would be under an obligation to keep the building in good repair. There would be provisions in the lease allowing you to recover a proportionate cost of this from the owner of the leasehold but still it is administered hassle in some ways.

Also the leasehold owner would be at liberty once the term of the lease has run down to apply to you to have a lease extended. You can charge a reasonable fee for this and so could possibly make a very small amount of money in time.

If you sold the leasehold with a share of freehold then you would not get any money for extending the lease or any money from ground rent but you would share the responsibilities for repair and other administrative responsibilities, so really depends whether you think this could be a burden to you or not.

If this is useful please kindly click accept and rate my answer as okay service or above.

Kind regards.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

We would be keeping the ground floor flat that owns all the land and have maintained both properties between ourselves so far. I'm just concerned that if in ten years time the top flat (new owners) want to get the roof repaired we'd would be forced to pay what they want even if the lease states that the top flat is responsible for the repair of the upper section of the property.


We also had seperate building insurance policies but woud we need to get some kind of joilnt building policy insurance?


It all depends what the lease states. If the leasehold flat is carved out of the definition of the building and roofing the responsibility of the owner of the freehold then you would be responsible.

It is for this reason that you may consider transferring a freehold share as well. However they cannot unreasonably insist on a new roof and would have to show that it is fallen into disrepair usually.

The lease would normally state who is responsible for maintaining buildings insurance. Usually it would be the landlord for the building.

Please kindly rate my answer.
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