How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Aston Lawyer Your Own Question
Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10452
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
16368554
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Aston Lawyer is online now

Hi, I am interested in purchasing a flat within an old victorian

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I am interested in purchasing a flat within an old victorian house. The other flats have been sold all vacant and all needing refurbishment. I have been informed by the estate agent that the person holding the lease cannot be found so they could suddenly turn up and demand any amount for the maintenance of the building and there is nothing anyone can do. Is this correct? Or is there a level say a percentage of the value of the property that they could not go beyond. Thank you for your time
Kind Regards
Norma
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

I am Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

I take it that no-one is taking responsibility for the upkeep of the building/Buildings Insurance at present?

Will you be needing a Mortgage to finance the purchase?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards
AL
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, the house is completely empty, no one is responsible for the building. Apparently the estate agents solicitors have tried to locate the person that owns the lease and the land the house sits on but haven't had any luck. I don't need a mortgage. This is a property for investment and I haven't done this before so I am very wary in case the person who owns the lease etc turns up and asks for loads of money. I don't know of there rights regarding the land either.
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

Well, legally, if the Landlord does turn up, then he would be entitled to charge the following-

1. The last 6 years ground rent (you would need to have a look at the Lease to see how much the yearly amount is).

2. He can only charge you service charge for work that he actually carries out. I'm not aware of what repairs, if an, need doing to the structure/communal parts, but if there is a lot of work to b done to bring the building up to scratch, then you and the other Leaseholders would foot the bill equally between you.

As you are looking at this as an investment, my initial reaction is to stay well clear. No doubt you may be able to buy the Flat on the cheap, but in the long term it may well turn out to be very expensive.

Just as important a point is- do you really want to buy a Flat which isn't being maintained? What happens if major work is required (eg to the roof) and the Landlord is not there to carry out the repairs, and no other Leaseholder is prepared to pay their due proportion.
Likewise, is anyone insuring the Building? If there is damage/fire, and no insurance, you will lose potentially everything.

Looking ahead, it stands, the Flats are unmortgagable as a Bank will not lend on a Flat where there are no arrangements in place for arranging maintenance/Buildings Insurance.

I know you may feel like you are possibly getting a good deal on the Flat, but I would advise that you buy a Flat which has none of the above risks!

Sorry if this is not the answer you were looking for, but hope I have set out the legal position.

Kind Regards
AL
Aston Lawyer and 3 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much I will take your advice. Naively I did not consider the structural integrity of the building. So glad you pointed that out. Thank you again for your help.
Kind regards
Norma

Related Property Law Questions