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  • FIRST POST
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 8:36 AM
    • 11Posts
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    Georgebrocklebank
    splitting a house into two flats,, help please
    • #1
    • 7th Mar 18, 8:36 AM
    splitting a house into two flats,, help please 7th Mar 18 at 8:36 AM
    Hi, I brought a house a couple of years ago at an auction (its a house turned into 2 flats).
    It's been that way for the last 25 years as the same tennant came with the sale.
    I want to sell the upstairs flat but leave him in the bottom one, is this possible?
    Each flat has its own boilers & separate water feeds, Gas & electricity meters & two council tax bills (one for each flat).
    I don't think it had planning permission as when I brought it the auctioneer came on the phone & told me I wasn't buying two flats but one house with two flats in.
    I'm just a bit confused how I would get new deeds to sell the top flat?
    Any help or advice would be great-fully appreciated.
    Kind regards,
    George.
Page 1
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 7th Mar 18, 8:42 AM
    • 712 Posts
    • 756 Thanks
    HampshireH
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 8:42 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 8:42 AM
    I can't help you but this sounds very complicated and I am interested in the advice you get. Someone will come along shortly with the knowledge.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 9:09 AM
    • 11 Posts
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    Georgebrocklebank
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:09 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:09 AM
    Also when I do a search on Google both rightmove & zoopla have them listed as two flats.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 7th Mar 18, 9:32 AM
    • 7,863 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:32 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:32 AM
    You'll first want to clarify what the planning position actually is, and what the titles say (didn't anybody advise you at least by the stage you completed the purchase?). Creating separate titles is a solicitor job (or a very steep learning curve!).
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 7th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
    • 6,496 Posts
    • 6,381 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
    This is quite a far-reaching question. I guess that judging by the way you're asking the question, you're not very familiar with property law, planning law etc - so you might need to spend quite a bit of money on advice from a specialist solicitor.

    But briefly...

    Yes - you can create a lease for one of the flats and (attempt to) sell it.

    Whether anyone will buy it will be dependent on many factors, including:

    - the quality of the conversion
    - whether it is mortgageable
    - whether it has planning consent or a certificate of lawfulness
    - the terms of the lease you create
    - the condition of the building
    etc
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    • 11 Posts
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    Georgebrocklebank
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    Hi, titles say one house (but I new that already).
    Just wanted to no if it's possible to separate, what's the first step?
    Is it going to a solicitor?
    Is it an easy thing to do?

    Sorry for all the questions,

    George.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 9:47 AM
    • 11 Posts
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    Georgebrocklebank
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:47 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:47 AM
    Thanks Eddie, the two flats & building are great.
    Do I need a certificate of lawfulness before I get the lease created?

    Kind regards,

    George.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 7th Mar 18, 9:58 AM
    • 6,496 Posts
    • 6,381 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #8
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:58 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:58 AM
    Do I need a certificate of lawfulness before I get the lease created?
    Originally posted by Georgebrocklebank
    No - you can create a lease for any property.

    In fact, I could get a lease created for the cupboard under my stairs as a flat - without any certificate of lawfulness.

    But realistically, no mortgage lender would lend on it, and I would probably never get a certificate of lawfulness, and nobody would ever buy it as a flat.

    So more generally, getting a lease created isn't any indication that you could ever sell the flat.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 10:09 AM
    • 11 Posts
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    Georgebrocklebank
    • #9
    • 7th Mar 18, 10:09 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Mar 18, 10:09 AM
    So if I get a 125 year lease sorted & put the flat on the market what would stop people getting a mortgage on it?
    Surly once people view it & as long as the survey was ok (is that not all I have to worry about?)

    Kind regards,

    George
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 7th Mar 18, 10:14 AM
    • 7,863 Posts
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    davidmcn
    Depends what else the lease says.
    Why only a 125 year term?
    Who's going to have the freehold?
    Are there any issues with the title?
    That sort of thing.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 10:19 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Georgebrocklebank
    Cheers David,,

    I just thought 125 years was the done thing (I'll make it longer if it encourages buyers)
    I suppose I'll have the freehold until I sell the bottom flat (then try & sell it to one of the flats when the bottom one has gone).
    & what do you mean issues with the title?

    Thanks again,

    George.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 7th Mar 18, 10:32 AM
    • 7,863 Posts
    • 8,042 Thanks
    davidmcn
    what do you mean issues with the title?
    Originally posted by Georgebrocklebank
    Any problems with it. Multitude of things which might be wrong. Did you get a solicitor to check it at any point during your purchase? It may for example contain covenants prohibiting it from being subdivided.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 10:40 AM
    • 11 Posts
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    Georgebrocklebank
    Yes had a solicitor when I brought it & no there's nothing saying it can't be devided.
    I just brought it as a 3 bed house.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 10:41 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Georgebrocklebank
    It's been divided for 25 years.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 7th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
    • 6,496 Posts
    • 6,381 Thanks
    eddddy
    So if I get a 125 year lease sorted & put the flat on the market what would stop people getting a mortgage on it?
    Surly once people view it & as long as the survey was ok (is that not all I have to worry about?)
    Originally posted by Georgebrocklebank
    The mortgage lender will send a valuer. The valuer will decide whether the flat is mortgageable.

    The question on the valuer's mind might be "if the property market cools down, and the borrower defaults on their mortgage - will this flat be saleable?"

    In an extreme case, if the flat is badly converted/poor quality, the valuer might decide that it would be unsaleable in a 'cooled down' property market - and therefore value it at zero.


    I brought a house a couple of years ago at an auction (its a house turned into 2 flats).
    It's been that way for the last 25 years as the same tennant came with the sale.
    I want to sell the upstairs flat but leave him in the bottom one, is this possible?
    Originally posted by Georgebrocklebank
    So my immediate question is.... "Why didn't the bloke who sold it at auction sell one of the flats on a lease, and make lots of money?"

    Was he just daft? Didn't anybody advise him to do that? Didn't anyone else at the auction spot that possibility? Or are there problems which make that route difficult or impossible?

    I would suspect that there might be some problems.
    Last edited by eddddy; 07-03-2018 at 11:03 AM.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 11:05 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Georgebrocklebank
    He had the house repossesed. Stopped paying the mortague & the bank took it.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 11:07 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Georgebrocklebank
    the top flat uses the back door & the bottom the front door.
    All that has been done is a wall so you go straight up the stairs.
    It looks good (in my opinion).
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 7th Mar 18, 11:24 AM
    • 5,426 Posts
    • 7,601 Thanks
    deannatrois
    The problem is you have come on here asking advice over a complex matter. Said complex matter, if it goes in your favour could gain you tens of thousands of pounds (at least).

    Surely its worth getting advice from a solicitor? We aren't legally trained for the most part. Some of us might just sound like we know what we are talking about.

    I would strongly advise going to a solicitor.., even just for one appointment. Could save you and a poor buyer a lot of money.

    I googled 'regulations when converting a house into flats' and got this to start with, plus others, so its a hint as to what should have been done and what (I assume) will need to be done/provided with proof of before the property can be sold legally

    1) https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/forum/planning-development-questions/11007-building-regulations-and-flat-conversions

    2) https://www.visum.co.uk/Library/Post/fire-safety-standards-for-houses-converted-in

    Any flat 'might' look good until there is a fire in one of them and the people living in them can't get out, or they suffer harm because of a lack of fire protection measures, for example. That's just one aspect of what a person needs to do and provide proof of having done before a flat in a conversion property is sold. I assume the lack of proof explains why this was sold as a 3 bed property rather than 2 flats.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 07-03-2018 at 11:35 AM.
    • Georgebrocklebank
    • By Georgebrocklebank 7th Mar 18, 11:44 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Georgebrocklebank
    Thanks for all your great advice!
    Of course I'll be seeing a solicitor.
    Will the lender want to see all fire/sound proof paper work?
    There is none so I guess I'll have to get that all done first.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 7th Mar 18, 12:30 PM
    • 2,598 Posts
    • 2,541 Thanks
    steampowered
    If you want to retain the freehold of the property to retain ownership of bottom flat, I think you would need to create a long lease of the top flat, register that with the land registry and sell the flat as a leasehold property.

    You would need to think about would be the freeholder and responsible for looking after the building and any common areas as the freeholder.

    You would need to make sure that the long lease you put in place over the top flat is mortgageable and that it is correctly registered. The solicitor should be able to help you with the lease.

    I don't think you need to worry too much about paperwork for other things. Lots of properties are old and have dodgy electrics (or whatever) but are still mortgageable.
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