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    • N4Nikeir
    • By N4Nikeir 12th Feb 18, 11:04 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Just found out house is leasehold, not freehold.
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 18, 11:04 AM
    Just found out house is leasehold, not freehold. 12th Feb 18 at 11:04 AM
    So, I'm a first-time buyer, and so I am a little clueless when it comes to the practicalities and expectations, even after having done research. I thought I'd gotten a super good deal on a house (105k for a 3 bedroom semi-detached with drive and garden, just outside a really cute and sort-after village area, with a 15 year mortgage.) I was excited and ready, and then the other day, my solicitor got a hold of the property's title, and well, the title says it all.

    Rather than a freehold, the house is a 999 year sublease (less than 10 days) with a peppercorn ground rent. This came as a shock to me, and when I approached the estate agent responsible for selling the house, even she seemed surprised (though she also said the length of the lease should not present a problem.) My solicitor has not been all that useful in telling me what all the terms mean, either. When I asked him what a peppercorn ground rent was, he went on some confusing spiel about literal peppercorns that just left me more puzzled (a quick google revealed that it was a very small or nominal ground rent.) Because he has been so confusing on that front, I have not asked him what he means by a "sub-lease" as opposed to a lease, or what is meant by "less than 10 days." Googling has been not been helpful for these terms.

    My solicitor, however, has been adamant that there is no chance of escalating ground rent, as this property is not a new-build, and so is not subject to an escalating rent review. He also seems confident that this will not affect the value of the property (which I find a bit unbelievable.) Thus, he is advising me to continue with the purchase, and my lender is also not concerned about the tenure of the property. I've spoken to my father about this, and he also seems confident about the purchase, particularly as my solicitor has said I should still continue. However, I'd really like some outside advice. I know I've done well with the purchase price for my first property, but this has made me consider it may not be such a good deal. Apparently, leasehold houses with these terms are very typical in Manchester and Liverpool, but still.....

    Any advice offered would be really, really appreciated!
Page 2
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Feb 18, 10:27 PM
    • 17,374 Posts
    • 15,706 Thanks
    The terms on the lease were that I needed to... redecorate at least every four years.
    Originally posted by Mossfarr
    That's the sort of term that's there to catch out those who let the place fall into rack and ruin. They won't be enforcing it because it's been 49 months since you last got the paintbrush out.
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 12th Feb 18, 10:38 PM
    • 7,040 Posts
    • 49,323 Thanks
    kerri gt
    [*]be absolutely sure that you won't need the freeholder's permission (which typically requires a fee) for extensions, changes to the windows, etc. Have you ever heard of the Dulwich Estate in South London? Google it. If you buy a freehold house in that area, they can fine you if they don't like how you keep your garden, you must ask for their permission for any changes (double glazing is a big no-no), etc. Yes, even if you own the freehold - it's not a typo.[/LIST]
    Originally posted by SouthLondonUser
    That would form a restrictive covenant(s) - which aren't unusual in themselves. We own a freehold but have covenants attached such that windows need to be the same colour throughout the street, gardens need to be maintained, no external fixings (like aerials) on properties...oh and we're not allowed to keep livestock In practise many of these have zero effect on everyday life and have a positive contribution to the overall area.
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16

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