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Shocking Offer...

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Mortgages & Endowments
15 replies 2.9K views
zainzain Forumite
336 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Mortgages & Endowments
Can anyone help me here....

I have been trying to get our freeholder to sell the lease to our flat. She has been difficult and generally uncooperative. However, she is now willing to sell the freehold to us for £8k ( 16K for the two flats) +costs.There are 80 years remaining on the lease and we pay a ground rent of £30 a year.

I can't believe this and feel she has made up a figure just to see how much she can get. I feel really angry that someone who has done nothing for us over the years can make so much money!! What i would like to know is, am i being unfair to her? What is a reasonable figure? Anybody else bought a freehold?
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Replies

  • aidsyaidsy Forumite
    70 Posts
    why is it you want to buy the frehold iam wondering???
    Filiss
  • sam1970sam1970 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    hi zain
    i have just sold my flat and moved into a house last week and the reason is...landlords!!! they are pain in the **se...they do nothing for you but from my experience when you try to get out and sell they will stick their teeth in you and will try to suck your blood if they can. the reason i bought a flat was to own my place so i can do whatever changes i want inside it but unfortunately i discovered that propably i had more rights when i was renting than when i owned the flat...believe it or not my landlord charged me £300 to allow me to fit laminate flooring instead of the filthy carpet which was in the flat when i bought it....everytime i install new kitchen or bathroom the landlord agent comes asking for money to issue permissions...!!!!!! >:(......my advice dont bother buying the freehold and try to save the money and use it as a deposit for a house..no matter how small but it will still be yours >:(
  • zainzain Forumite
    336 Posts
    Many thanks for the replies. I am feeling better already.

    Aidsy, the main reason that i wanted to buy the freehold was to get this third party off our back. So i can do anything i want to the flat. Also, I am worried that i will find it difficult to sell if the lease drops too low.

    Sam 1970 , I think your advice is sound and there is no way i am going to pay £8000+ for no real short term gain. Though i wish there was something i could do to stop people like this making so much money for being a pain in the a*** and doing nothing. [glow=red,2,300]Sam1970, what did you landlord do when you were trying to sell the flat? I am curious. [/glow]Our landlady is simply trying to fleece us and there should be something to protect the 'owner'.

    I have had a look at https://www.lease-advice.org/newintro.htm and can't see a way i can do much without cooperation from the landlady.
  • yonkyonk Forumite
    761 Posts
    The lease advice advisory website has a list of surveyors who can value freeholds. I suggested it because if what you have been quoted is the market value, then it's reasonable. If it is not, you will know for sure you are being fleeced.

    A ground rent is an investment that pays income and therefore has a value to the person who "owns" it and there is a market for them as investments. So by "selling" you the freehold, your landlord has a lump sum instead of future rent payments but your flat should be worth more plus you gain the benefit of an increased income (no more ground rent) so it does have a "value". Determining the value without spending a fortune is the tricky bit....

    The other reasons flats have freeholders is to police what happens using the lease, as your neighbours have much more impact on your life in a flat than a house. I.e making loads of noise or knocking out a supporting wall under your flat, communal decorations, etc. Here in Scotland, flats are freehold and it can be an absolute disaster as you can have no third party to make sure work is done except for getting the local council involved.
  • yonkyonk Forumite
    761 Posts
    Just noticed you only have two flats, getting a share of the freehold will make a bigger difference than if it was alarger block - it's called marriage value - the increase in value you when own both the free and lease hold. Communa repairs aren't so important in a small development unless you fall out with you neighbour.

    Good luck! :)
  • zainzain Forumite
    336 Posts
    Thanks for your advice Yonk. I think i will get an independent valuation using your suggestion and then make a decision. As i say the main thing is that i don't want to get ripped off!
  • yonkyonk Forumite
    761 Posts
    Get a surveyor to quote costs first - this can be a complex area and so it can be a bit like divorce - with costs outweighing the benefits!
  • zainzain Forumite
    336 Posts
    Some progress here...
    Lease advice gave me a estimate for the cost and would you beleive it - if we can buy the freehold before Feb 05 (80 year thing) it will will cost about £2000 ( £1000 each) after that the max cost would be around £10 000( 5000 each)

    This is no way near the 16 000 she is asking for!

    I am not sure what to do next. If we force her to sell - the legal fees will be huge possibly around £3000-taking into account some potential problems. Major hassle and the solicitors charge by the minute at £190 per hour for additional work. Oh yes, did i say that was not including VAT?

    My wife thinks i should just give up on it. I would like to keep the flat and pass it on to our children eventually ( one is two years and the other due in March 05) She says in 80 years time (& if the flat is still with us) who cares?
  • yonkyonk Forumite
    761 Posts
    I would write (you & other flat owner) and say you will take her to court etc.

    Offer her a bit more than you have been advised to cover her fees, it's less than if you have to go to court, and keep writing. Try to negotiate and be persistant.
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