Flats in England are commonly leasehold, particularly where larger housing developments are concerned. It is less common for houses to be leasehold properties, but it is nonetheless possible. If you purchase a leasehold property, your current council (the freeholder) retains responsibility for the maintenance of the building and its communal areas, both internally and externally.
Your eligibility for a mortgage could be affected by the type of property you currently live in. There are lenders who refuse to offer mortgages on flats in high-rise developments, for example. If you are planning on applying for a mortgage, it is therefore worth bearing in mind how the type of property you live in could affect your eligibility. Rather than applying directly, it’s advisable to seek expert advice and support to know where you stand.
Purchasing a leasehold property means committing yourself to certain ongoing responsibilities and costs, which may not have applied when you are a tenant. Service and maintenance charges may be payable, in order to support the upkeep of the building and its surroundings. If you buy a flat, for example, you’ll make a contribution to the cleanliness and upkeep of hallways, stairs, elevators, gardens, pathways and so on.
Important Note: buyers who purchase leasehold properties are exempt from unexpected costs for the first five years. All regular service charges you are liable for must be clearly specified in the Section 125 offer letter you receive. If you are concerned or unsure about your service charge and liabilities, seek independent advice to understand your rights and obligations.
Owning a leasehold property often means seeking permission from the freeholder to make major alterations and adjustments to your home. All such information should be clearly communicated in your lease.
For more information or to discuss the specifics of purchasing a Right to Buy leasehold property in more detail, book your obligation-free consultation with UK Property Finance today.