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    • TJ02
    • By TJ02 18th May 17, 11:00 PM
    • 1Posts
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    TJ02
    Number of years left on lease vs lifespan of the building
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 11:00 PM
    Number of years left on lease vs lifespan of the building 18th May 17 at 11:00 PM
    I am in the process of buying an ex-council flat in an 8-storey, brick-construction council block in London. The lease has 105 years left on it. The block was built in about 1960.

    It occurred to me that it is not inconceivable for a 1960's council block that after a time the remaining usable/habitable lifespan of the building may be shorter than the number of years left on the lease. If we were to buy it now, then in 10 years' time with 95 years left on the lease, we decided extend the lease to 125 years, the block will be approx 65 years old. Having a 125 year lease would assume the building's lifespan is at least 185 years. If the actual lifespan is estimated to be less than this, does the lease become effectively worthless, and therefore increasingly difficult to sell?

    1. Is this a genuine problem anyone has faced or heard of?
    2. Can anyone advise on what might be the expected lifespan of a 1960's-built, brick-construction local authority block?
    3. Is there any recompense for leaseholders of flats if the block they are in comes to the end of its usable life and has to be vacated before the lease is up?

    I may (I hope) be being OTT - but this does seem a risk to the flat's potential for future resale. Grateful for any advice on this.
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 18th May 17, 11:20 PM
    • 5,624 Posts
    • 5,394 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 11:20 PM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 11:20 PM
    You're probably overthinking this - the term of the lease doesn't imply anything about the lifespan of the building, any more than a freehold title implies that the building has an indefinite lifespan. If it's deemed worthwhile redeveloping the flats, everyone who has a registered interest would need to be involved - so your recompense would be in then selling your right to the airspace.

    FWIW, I'm surrounded by flats which are 130+ years old and are unlikely to fall down any time soon - I'm sure whoever built them would be astonished.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 19th May 17, 1:13 PM
    • 2,668 Posts
    • 3,642 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 1:13 PM
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 1:13 PM
    Have you checked to see if there are any major repairs likely to be made? Some ex council flat owners get huge repair bills running into £1000s. It is one of the reasons why ex council flats are cheap.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 1:19 PM
    • 59,654 Posts
    • 348,584 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 1:19 PM
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 1:19 PM
    What happens to people is that the council decide to demolish and build something entirely new - and they'll offer less than it's worth to you, under a compulsory purchase scheme.

    e.g. If the closest flat you could buy in your area brand new is £200k and if your council flat you are buying is £150k .... then they'd offer you £110k as you can't sell it to anybody else, it's in a derelict block and on a compulsory purchase. But, the issue you're faced with is that you can't take the money and buy locally because you bought the cheapest around ... and now you're being offered a lot less than the bottom of the market.

    99% of people that this has happened to have had an unsatisfactory outcome no matter how loudly they bleated and complained.
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