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Freehold or Leasehold?

Many properties in the North West are leasehold and we are often asked to explain why and what this means for a property buyer.

If you hold a house on a long lease you can choose to purchase the freehold

A builder of a new estate may choose to sell properties as long-leasehold rather than freehold to ensure conformity between all the properties on the estate. This could include clauses like no structural alterations without consent, no commercial vehicles to be kept at the property etc. But there are also legal reasons why a flat should be leasehold and in the main these relate to the maintenance of the building.

A property held on a long lease has the same value as a freehold property. If you hold a house on a long lease you can choose to purchase the freehold. The freeholder will make a charge for this. Whether it’s worthwhile depends on the amount the freeholder is charging and the amount that you pay for the ground rent. Usually the freeholder will leave in clauses to restrict activities such as alterations, so you may still need consent to build for example, a conservatory. It may well be that the only benefit to purchasing the freehold is that you won’t have to pay ground rent to the freeholder.

If you would like advice to help you decide whether this would be worthwhile for you given your particular circumstances, please feel free to contact a member of our team for a chat.