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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69265
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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we are thinking of buying a bungalow in a over 55,s complex,

Customer Question

we are thinking of buying a bungalow in a over 55,s complex, we have been told that it is a leasehold property and we own the property but not the land it is on. we are free to do any alterations as long as it is in keeping with the rest of the complex. And pay an annual fee each year to cover maintenance of communal gardens, window cleaning boiler maintenance ,security 24 hr emergency system. we are both of failing health and thought we would sell our existing property to enable us to do this for our later years and make life easier for ourselves. Is this a good move or not?

What we would like to know is how we stand and what we have to do if the lease runs out?
Will we be forced out of our home
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.

How long is the duration of the lease you will be buying and are you happy with the service charge amount and ground rent?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

The situation with a leasehold property is rather complex and will be explained completely by your solicitor however I will try to explain.

What you are would really depends on the terms of the lease. The explanation that you own the building and not the land is incorrect. The land contains whatever building is on it.

With a flat which is leasehold, you normally lease the inside but not the structure because the structure is owned by the freeholder.

With a separate property (detached or semi-or terraced) you would normally lease the whole building inside and out but that does make you responsible for maintenance of the structure and it may be therefore that this is a slightly different lease why you are not responsible for the structure but only the inside. Checked the lease but your solicitor will advise you.

Leases can be for 99 years or 999 years or even longer or any period in between. You do well to query the length of the lease.

But the lease has only 70 years remaining then it would not normally be possible to get a mortgage on it without extending it. There is a statutory right to extend the lease so the property cannot be taken away from you however there is a cost involved and the cost involved in extending the lease (legal costs and also the purchase price of the extension from the landlord) can be considerable so that needs to be taken into account if the lease is shorter.

The lease has over 100 years to go, it is of less concern.

With any leasehold property there is often a ground rent to pay and a service charge and the service charges can be quite high so you need to ascertain exactly what the service charges and what it is likely to increase to over the next few years so that you know exactly what you're liability is going to be.

Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69265
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We thought this to be a good option for us . We own our property with no mortgage but cannot afford a private bungalow, not enough equity to purchase out right and too old for mortgage. So do you think we would be better off staying as we are.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That decision is yours.

Before discounting it, please read thoroughly what I have said above and then ask the seller about the length of the lease and maintenance costs/service charge and ground rent.

They are the most important things to be concerned about because they are the things that are going to cost you money on an ongoing basis .
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thankyou for your help and advice this has helped a lot and been very beneficial. Excellent service

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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