Converting a house into 2 flats land registry process

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    Converting a house into 2 flats land registry process

    Hi,

    I have a house which I have converted into 2 flats. I have council permission and everything in place to have the 2 flats registered now.

    After a lot of reading I realised I cant be the owner of the freehold and the holder of both leaseholds.

    I don't want to sell the leaseholds. I want to have the freehold and the 2 leaseholds under my ownership.

    I'm not interested in selling the freehold into a limited company either. Instead I considered the next best option which was to transfer the freehold to someone in my family.

    I'm not sure how the land registry process works and what the best way to hold everything is. I'm absolutely not interested in selling the leasehold flats.

    After talking to my solicitor, I was told I can't transfer the freehold to this person in my family. I can however transfer the 2 flats? I wasn't too sure about that because another solicitor said something completely different ... The other solicitor said the freehold can be transferred in the process of registering the 2 flats with the land registry.

    The first solicitor also said that I can hold the freehold in my name with 1 of the 2 flats. I only need to transfer 1 of the flats. I did some research and couldn't find anything about this either.

    What is the best way for me to keep my 2 flats and my freehold?

    Are there any alternative options to holding the 2 flats without needing to sell them? I've read about creating 2 freehold flats but I haven't even discussed this yet because of the loss in future sellability potential.

    Any help and advise will be appreciated.

    Thank you.

    #2
    Your current position is not quite clear.

    Are you saying that you bought a freehold house and then converted it into two flats? Were there any leases when you bought? Have you granted any leases? What are your plans for the property?

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      #3
      ​​​​​​I purchased a freehold house and then converted it. There are no leases whatsoever. No leases have been granted at all.

      The plans for the property are to rent out the 2 leaseholds once the leases are made.

      It's the next step which is troubling me. How do I go about creating the 2 leases and maintaining both of them in my name? Can I instruct a solicitor to transfer the freehold to someone in my family? The law doesn't allow me to be the leaseholder of both flats while being the freeholder also.

      The outcome is to maintain ownership of the 2 flats and the freehold within the family... Seeing as I can't maintain ownership of the freehold and the 2 leasehold flats I intend on registering with the land registry.

      Comment


        #4
        There is no need for you to do anything at all. Just because you have converted does not make the flats leasehold. There is no limit to the number of dwellings or other units which can be comprised in a single title. Some titles contain a whole row of houses, an industrial estate or a shopping centre. You will only need to grant a lease if you want to sell a flat separately.

        Comment


          #5
          Lawcruncher,

          Thank you for your response. Very reassuring.

          The reason I was fearful was because of the potential implications of not having the 2 flats recognised. Off topic a little but in terms of the water meter and gas meter, is it something that I can just request the water and gas company providing the utilities supply it for 2 flats? I am not getting the gas bill for one of the flats but I've set up the gas supply and it works as normal. I'm just afraid that the gas provider is going to charge 1 supply because it's not recognised 2 flats exist. That could mean one of the tenants pays for the use of both flats utilities.

          ​​​​​​I would think that the companies aren't concerned with the matter because they're only going to benefit from the 2 supplies. Perhaps I'm worrying too much?

          Comment


            #6
            I cant imagine there will be a problem getting separate supplies for services to each flat.

            Comment


              #7
              Getting separate utilities meters is just a matter of requesting the utility supplier to put in new pipes/cables and meters.

              Most are keen to split joint supplies and may have discounts for the work involved. Check their terms, etc. (I had to press SW Water to follow their own guidelines!)

              Sadly from experience it can be painful cost wise! Easiest was gas and electricity, worst was water.

              Comment


                #8
                I'm hoping the new meters by Thames water will be easier to split because they've started billing for the amount of water being used. I did give them a ring and the person on the other side said it's possible to split the supply with a single meter. Don't know how accurate that is though.

                Thank you for your response.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just to confirm what happened when a house was converted into two separate flats.
                  The Valuation Office Agency were notified by the council to come to inspect the finished flats to assess the value for council tax purposes.

                  The Council then issued separate bills for the flats that became known as 120A and 120B after the appropriate council department agreed that these could be the new postal addresses and informed the relevant authorities, including the post office, fire service and all other bodies on their list.

                  The Land Registry title continued in existence showing the original postal address of 120.

                  Each flat was then successfully rented out to separate tenants until I decided to sell the property 12 years after the conversion.

                  The buyer also wanted to rent out the two flats so he was transferred the existing title number as part of the normal conveyancing process.

                  It really is that easy if you only want to be a landlord renting out both flats.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    pilman,

                    Interesting. Very helpful once again. I thank you very much.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      One other thing that will need to be done if not already dealt with, is to inform Land Registry of your personal address for service of any future correspondence, since that will be different from the postal address that will remain on the register of title for the property.

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