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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Property Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1730
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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I am thinking of buying a house but am told by the owner

Customer Question

I am thinking of buying a house but am told by the owner that it is an underlease, but they haven't paid any ground rent for ten years since they bought this house. Is there any disadvantages of a house being on an underlease? Will I need to pay ground rent if the previous owners didn't ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

The main thing you will need to find out is how many years are left on the Lease. In short, there has to be at least 60 years left on the Lease before a Bank will grant a Mortgage over a Leasehold property. The Freehold can be purchased, but you can only legally do this once you have owned the property for 2 years.

A Leasehold property, which this property is, is not as favourable as a Freehold property in that you are under a duty to pay annual ground rent- the Freeholder, being the person who is entitled to the ground rent can only claim 6 years worth of ground rent. So, if you were to proceed, and the Freeholder did ever request you to pay the ground rent, your liability would be limited to 6 years worth of ground rent.

I hope this assists and sets out the legal position.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Would it be possible that I would have to pay part of the previous owners ground rent? Would there be any problems for
me buying a house with an "under lease", ie a lease from a leasehold? I think there are still hundreds of years on the lease.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have not purchased the house yet, so should my ground rent start from the day I purchase it?
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi

If there is any ground rent outstanding, then you become liable for this amount once you buy the property. It would therefore be normal for your Solicitor to insist that an allowance is made in your favour- eg if there are 6 years worth of ground rent outstanding, equating to £200, then on completion of your purchase, you pay the Purchase price LESS £200.

I hope this clarifies the position.

Kind regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Al,Thank you for your replies which have been very helpful.Kind regards,Mona Yuen

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