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  • FIRST POST
    • anon_private
    • By anon_private 24th Feb 18, 2:04 AM
    • 146Posts
    • 8Thanks
    anon_private
    Maisonette Over Garages
    • #1
    • 24th Feb 18, 2:04 AM
    Maisonette Over Garages 24th Feb 18 at 2:04 AM
    I have been looking at a freehold maisonette - flat

    The accommodation consists of the whole top floor, over three garages (each garage can contain one car). One of the garages belongs to the maisonette. There are no other flats in the building. The building is detached

    I have not seen accommodation like this before I am wondering if there are any disadvantages of this type of accommodation as a permanent residence.

    For example, any maintenance that might be necessary to the wall might well involve builders having to erect structures on other people's allocated parking bays - in front of their garages.

    I am also wondering about the ease of selling the flat in the future. The flat is freehold, but two of the three garages underneath the flat belong to other people. I wonder how building societies would consider this type of structure in respect of mortgages.

    Further, the ceilings of the other two garages and the upper structures might present an ownership problem in respect of any repairs.

    Are my concerns unfounded

    Let me know what you think?

    Thanks

    UK resident
Page 1
    • franklee
    • By franklee 24th Feb 18, 2:42 AM
    • 3,640 Posts
    • 3,890 Thanks
    franklee
    • #2
    • 24th Feb 18, 2:42 AM
    • #2
    • 24th Feb 18, 2:42 AM
    These are often called coach houses.

    You need to find out how the garages are owned.

    Is it a newish build? Round here the new builds are freehold coach houses with leasehold garages beneath, the coach house owner being the freeholder and responsible for insuring the garages.

    They come up quite a lot on here e.g. some threads that shows some of the issues to consider:

    Coach House Insurance
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5661712&highlight=coach+house

    living in a coach flat above garages
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=1867671&highlight=coach

    Leased garage (Naughty neighbors)
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5777080&highlight=coach+house

    Freehold house, leasehold garage - sign disclaimer?
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5768558&highlight=coach+house

    Garage is apparently leasehold
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4987496&highlight=coach

    New 2 Bedroom House/Flat Above 3 Garages - Why?
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4819055&highlight=coach
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 24th Feb 18, 10:22 AM
    • 6,303 Posts
    • 6,170 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #3
    • 24th Feb 18, 10:22 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Feb 18, 10:22 AM
    For example, any maintenance that might be necessary to the wall might well involve builders having to erect structures on other people's allocated parking bays - in front of their garages.
    Originally posted by anon_private
    It sounds like you will be the freeholder of the building, and two other people will each own a garage as leasehold.

    You need to read the leases to answer the above question. Hopefully, it will explain what your rights are in that respect.

    Further, the ceilings of the other two garages and the upper structures might present an ownership problem in respect of any repairs.
    Originally posted by anon_private
    Again you need to read the leases.

    As freeholder, there may be some parts of the structure which you are responsible for maintaining and repairing, but the leaseholders have to reimburse you for.

    Similarly, they may have to contribute to your insurance bill.

    Thanks

    UK resident
    Originally posted by anon_private
    All the comments above assume that you are in England or Wales.
    • anon_private
    • By anon_private 27th Feb 18, 11:09 AM
    • 146 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    anon_private
    • #4
    • 27th Feb 18, 11:09 AM
    • #4
    • 27th Feb 18, 11:09 AM
    I have contacted the estate agent who tells me that:

    'The owner of the coach house will own the freehold for the other garages, and the garages will have separate leases'

    Looks like I would be responsible for repairs/maintenance, etc.

    A disadvantage - not to mention collecting insurance monies
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 27th Feb 18, 12:37 PM
    • 6,487 Posts
    • 8,414 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    • #5
    • 27th Feb 18, 12:37 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Feb 18, 12:37 PM
    It would depend on the terms of the lease whaether you were resposbible for repairs.

    This kind of flat would be harder to sell than a more standard one, and probably harder to find a mortgage for. Being over garages you may find that it is harder / more expensive to heat as the floor is, effectively, an outside wall.

    That said, I would expect those issues to be reflected in the price, and so you may get more space than you would in an ordinary flat, and less risk of nuisance neighbours.

    I think the key would be to ask lots of questions and get plenty of advice so you were very clear about exactly what you would and wouldn't be responsible for, and talk to mortgage broker about how easy it is likely to be for you to get a mortgage, bearing in mind that if it requires a lot of shopping around, that will also be true when you come to sell.
    • franklee
    • By franklee 27th Feb 18, 2:03 PM
    • 3,640 Posts
    • 3,890 Thanks
    franklee
    • #6
    • 27th Feb 18, 2:03 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Feb 18, 2:03 PM
    I have contacted the estate agent who tells me that:

    'The owner of the coach house will own the freehold for the other garages, and the garages will have separate leases'

    Looks like I would be responsible for repairs/maintenance, etc.

    A disadvantage - not to mention collecting insurance monies
    Originally posted by anon_private
    I'd guess you would be responsible for organising repairs, maintenance and insurance but could collect a portion of the cost from the garage leaseholders. Suggest you ask for a copy of the lease, see what it says.
    • Richard Webster
    • By Richard Webster 27th Feb 18, 3:34 PM
    • 7,435 Posts
    • 7,158 Thanks
    Richard Webster
    • #7
    • 27th Feb 18, 3:34 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Feb 18, 3:34 PM
    You should get a mortgage because you will own the freehold of the whole building. Freehold flats are those where there are separate freeholds for different flats in the same building - and you cannot enforce freehold covenants against a neighbour merely because they live above or below you or next door.

    So do not tell the lender or broker you are buying a freehold flat because without further explanation they will not understand the position and may reject your application.

    However, I do agree that there are significant problems in being a landlord for the garages beneath. It will depend on the terms of the leases but generally getting the cost of insurance and maintenance/repair off the lessees of the garages can be difficult.
    RICHARD WEBSTER

    As a retired conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful assuming any properties concerned are in England/Wales but I accept no liability for it.
    • anon_private
    • By anon_private 5th Mar 18, 3:21 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    anon_private
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 3:21 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 3:21 PM
    Interestingly, on this estate there is another, and identical property, but the flat and garage are leasehold.

    I am wondering if leasehold is better because it avoids the possible legal issues associated with being a freeholder
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 5th Mar 18, 4:33 PM
    • 6,303 Posts
    • 6,170 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 4:33 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 4:33 PM
    Interestingly, on this estate there is another, and identical property, but the flat and garage are leasehold.

    I am wondering if leasehold is better because it avoids the possible legal issues associated with being a freeholder
    Originally posted by anon_private
    That may have been done to make getting a mortgage easier.

    i.e. Somebody might have bought the freehold - perhaps in the name of a company - and then granted themselves a leasehold (with a mortgage on the leasehold).

    You could do the same, but you would still have all the responsibilities of being a freeholder.
    • anon_private
    • By anon_private 7th Mar 18, 2:59 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    anon_private
    If two properties (coach houses with garages beneath) are very similar one being leasehold and the other being freehold. I wonder which is the better buy
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