Freehold purchase with flats

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    Freehold purchase with flats

    Hi All,

    This is my first post :-)
    I found this forum whilst I was googling about freehold insurance and thought I would ask you guys for opinions about my purchase.

    So I'm in the process of buying a detached house (built 1911) consisting 2 flats with separate entrances (maisonettes?)

    I will be the owner of the freehold of the whole property (building and land) and living in the 1st floor flat.

    The ground floor flat has a lease for the ground floor and all the land (parking and gardens). The 1st floor flat also has a lease (in exactly the same name as the freehold title) and does not have any outside space save the external staircase. There are no common areas.

    The LR lists 3 titles, the freehold and the 2 leases.

    The leases are 189 years from 1977

    The vendor says that he splits the building insurance 50/50 with the other flat and the maintenance is also split 50/50 on a as and when basis.

    The thing is there is nothing mentioned in the leases about maintenance or insurance or rights of access (I have to cross the land to get to my staircase) bins etc. They are very short documents.

    Is it normal not to have the 50/50 stuff or other stuff in the lease or would there be another document detailing it?

    If the leases do need changing, is it appropriate to do it during the conveyancing?

    Could the ground floor flat be compelled to accept any changes or could they say, "go away!" ha

    Also, I read on a forum post here that you cannot hold the freehold and leasehold under the same name but this flat seems exactly that (although the leasehold and freehold are different 'sizes')?

    Cheers for your help,

    The leases can only be changed with 100% approval or with the sanction of a tribunal. If they don't make anyone responsible for insurance, they are defective, and a single party can request a change. In terms of service charges, one would need to see the whole lease to know whether they were formally defective, but I think you have a problem with them. It sounds almost as though the drafting was DIY.


      Thanks for your reply.
      I am wondering if I am looking at the right document?
      There are the following sections:
      A: Property Register
      B: Proprietorship Register
      C: Charges Register
      Schedule of restrictive covenants

      Does this seem like the lease to you and which part should contain the bits about insurance and service charges?


        That's not the lease, but rather the the Land Registry title register entry.


          Right, that makes a lot more sense.

          So the actual lease does not appear to be stored on the LR site.
          I hope the vendor or his solicitor has a copy!

          Many thanks



            The freehold title probably consists of the register of title and title plan, but you will need to be provided with copies of each of the Counterpart leases so that you are aware of all of the terms and conditions imposed when the leases were granted.


              You have to make a separate request for the lease from the Land Registry. I think you may have to do that on a paper form.


                Thank you very much for your replies.
                So the LR has the freehold title and the 2 leasehold titles available to download but the lease document is not available to download but it may be available in paper form.

                I think my solicitor should request a copy of the lease document and I will ask for a copy from them.

                pilman, are you saying that the lease document could be different for each lease holder?


                  The lease document will be different, because it contains the identity of the property, and the names of the original lessors.

                  The terms may also be different if it has ever been extended, as changes may be made n the extension.

                  The original leases for my block of flats differed between floors because there was only a right of way over the stairs as far as needed.



                    Thanks leaseholder64, i will request both lease documents then :-)


                      I have now had sight of the lease documents, there are also deeds of variation where the leases have been extended and updated with a new insurance clause.

                      I have another question now...
                      Would it be beneficial to give away 50% of the freehold? I will start a new thread for this.

                      Thanks again for your help


                        So I'm in the process of buying a detached house consisting 2 maisonettes

                        I will be the owner of the freehold for the whole property (100% building and land) and living in the 1st floor flat.

                        There are 2 leases of the same length:
                        The ground floor flat has a lease for the ground floor and all the land (parking and gardens).
                        My 1st floor flat also has a lease of similar terms and in exactly the same name as my freehold title.

                        As the freeholder, I am responsible for the building insurance and the 'as and when' maintenance, although the cost will be split 50/50. I will also collect a minimum rent from the flat below, £20/year I think.

                        I am wary that should the house be damaged in part or even a total loss AND the insurance does not pay out for some reason (not sure what this would be) then I believe I am liable to replace or repair from my own pocket. (unless the damage was the fault of the other leaseholder)

                        Firstly, is this assumption correct?

                        Secondly, the leases run for at least another 140 years so I see no benefit in holding the 100% freehold, or is there?

                        So my main question is, would it be beneficial to give 50% of the freehold to the ground floor flat, thus splitting the responsibility between us (and the risk?) and making both flats more 'normal' and mortgageable?



                          Giving 50% doesn't split the responsibility, as both would be responsible for up to 100% of the cost. You might be able to create a trust deed that splits the responsibility,between the tenants in common.

                          If this is the reason for becoming tenants in common of the freehold, I'd suggest a detailed credit check on the other leaseholder. It may be that the maisonette that was, hypothetically, destroyed is their only real asset.

                          Also note that, with joint freeholders, any one of them can veto legal action, so it will be difficult to enforce the lease against the other leaseholder.


                            It's not normally a good idea to start a new thread when dealing with the same property.


                              Thanks leaseholder64, excellent answer :-)
                              So the effect would be to give each leaseholder equal liability - 100% each?
                              in other words, should there be a total loss of the building would it be incumbent on both parties to replace it?


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