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Why so much property is leasehold

I am searching for an apartment in Norwich, Norfolk. All of them are leasehold. Why is it? Doesn't it put the tenant at the mercy of the freeholder? How can I find a freehold apartment?

Asked on Feb 11 2011, Home Finance in London | Report content

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  • There are positives and negatives to both leasehold and freehold property however the main factor to take into consideration the lending criteria. However, some areas will have a lot more leasehold property than others.

    Answered on Feb 14 2011, Report content
  • In addition, if you are looking for a flat or apartment they will probably all be leasehold due to the nature of the property you are looking for. Should you come across a freehold flat you may find that most mortgage lenders will not lend on this.

    Answered on Feb 15 2011, Report content
  • Even a freehold flat will have a lease in place! I know I have sold them. The laws have changed over the years where tenants (purchasers) have more rights than 10-15 years ago. If a group of people are fed up with the lack of maintance on their block it can now be taken over. If a group form a majority to buy the freehold they can do this as well, setting up a company etc. Leasehold properties are fine. The only ones to watch are the council ones, it is not uncommon for the council to charge maintenance costs of £5.000 and I have had as high as £35,000, which you can fight and reduce slightly but will have to pay, take care and have a good solicitor or an agent like myself who checks this prior to putting the property on the market.

    Answered on Apr 14 2011, Report content
  • If you buy a house, you own the land it is on. With flats, it is different. There has to be an arrangement in place to define the responsibilities of each of the owners of properties on that land. All these matters are dealt with by the lease agreement. The downside is that the leases granted are usually 99 or 125 years, so they eventually lose value. The solution is for the leaseholders to get together and collectively enfranchise (buy the freehold). Then they can grant themselves 999 year leases and never have to face the prospect of paying to extend the lease again. (Unless they are the the man in "The Highlander"). For advice on leasehold enfranchisement, speak to a Chartered Surveyor with experience of lease extension and enfranchisement matters.

    Web reference:

    Answered on Apr 16 2013, Report content

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