Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

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sw11man
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Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby sw11man » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:16 pm

We are looking at purchasing a first floor maisonette, the plan being that we could add a further two bedrooms in the loft. However, as the subject title makes clear the loft is not demised in the lease (I will confirm this with solicitors).

Have any readers purchased the loft from a freeholder (which I understand to be a company), and can provide any helpful tips or warnings about the process? I'm particularly curious about the level of premium that the Landlord can charge for this type of work, as if this is substantial it would massively impact cash flow and make the project unviable for a few years.

Many thanks in advance!

Balhammom
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby Balhammom » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:25 pm

Hi
I had a friend to did this.

It was a while ago but...

The landlord was ok but it was the downstairs flat which was the nightmare. According to the lease details they owned half the loft (!) - I understand that's not uncommon as it's a common part of the building. My friend has assumed that they would want a token amount for the loft but actually they wanted a "proper" charge worked out on a square footage basis. I think they agreed 20k or so (it was a long time ago) but I'd get it checked out thoroughly by someone who knows how these things work!

God luck

sw11man
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby sw11man » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:32 pm

Balhammom wrote:Hi
I had a friend to did this.

It was a while ago but...

The landlord was ok but it was the downstairs flat which was the nightmare. According to the lease details they owned half the loft (!) - I understand that's not uncommon as it's a common part of the building. My friend has assumed that they would want a token amount for the loft but actually they wanted a "proper" charge worked out on a square footage basis. I think they agreed 20k or so (it was a long time ago) but I'd get it checked out thoroughly by someone who knows how these things work!

God luck


Thanks Balhammom, looks like we need to take a very close look at the lease then. I guess everyone is looking to make the most amount of money as is reasonable out of the situation!

Balhammom
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby Balhammom » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:43 pm

Agree!

I guess everyone is looking to make the most amount of money as is reasonable out of the situation!


I think that was the bit that caught my friend out - she didn't expect the downstairs flat owner to be quite so hard nosed about it but his view was that she'd be adding bedrooms and bathrooms and would get an uplift in price so he wanted his "bit".

:-)

Alchemy
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby Alchemy » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:01 pm

The freeholder will want most, if not all, of the value added, and there's not much you can do about it.

I tried to buy a small loft space from my freeholder, which was Wandsworth Council, and they wanted 80% of the value added. Turned out to be much cheaper to buy the freehold, oddly enough, but that is a more complicated process.

Make sure you get a quote from your freeholder before buying the property.

sw11man
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby sw11man » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:54 am

Alchemy wrote:
Make sure you get a quote from your freeholder before buying the property.


Thanks Alchemy, I hadn't thought about approaching them before agreeing to purchase, I'd also be interested in seeing if it would be worth purchasing the freehold as well, the service charge + ground rent is £1,000p/a which seems a little on the steep side for a maisonette!

Sloaney Pony
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby Sloaney Pony » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:25 pm

The freeholders can make a lot of money

100% mark-ups on insurance

Very aggressive pricing of lease extensions

A lot of freeholds can be chased back to some very aggressive owners ... via companies in panama etc.

Be careful

sw11man
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby sw11man » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:40 am

Sloaney Pony wrote:The freeholders can make a lot of money

100% mark-ups on insurance

Very aggressive pricing of lease extensions

A lot of freeholds can be chased back to some very aggressive owners ... via companies in panama etc.

Be careful


Thanks for the words of warning. Its difficult, because its uncommon (well, less common than leasehold), to find share of freehold flats/maisonettes in the area therefore leasehold is something i'm going to have to get used to.

Sloaney Pony
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby Sloaney Pony » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:32 pm

If you can, do a right to manage. I did that on my old place and took back control. You need a majority of leaseholders to consent but you appoint whomever you choose to manage?

Let's just say that the freeholder (I could tell you one overarching detail about him, but you would know who he was!) was squarking like a kid who'd had his candy stolen after we took back our rights.

Over 7years we must have saved £1000 a year and got a better place.

Power to the people

Beachbum
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Re: Leasehold flat - loft not demised - advice please!

Postby Beachbum » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:43 pm

I wouldn't buy it, they can charge almost whatever they want for the loft. If you want clarity maybe ask the sellers to find out how much they want for the loft. I don't know what you are planning on doing but I wouldn't recommend buying any leasehold that you intend to do work on without first know exactly how much the freeholder will want for you to do the work. They have almost no regulation and the only way to deal with a dispute is the go to tribunal. If you do and lose you will have to declare that when you sell the place. Nightmare!! I would hold out for the Freehold, even then you can run into problems but at least they are less ....


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