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03-08-2006, 21:18   #1
pattricia
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My son purchased his house, but the land is leasehold.(he pays a low ground rent) Would he be able to buy this lease from the owners ? and if he did,would it then be freehold ?At the moment it is on an 800yrs lease.
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03-08-2006, 21:29   #2
amandakm
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we has a leasehold terrace in hillsborough, paid a 'peppercorn' rent we asked solicitor about buying, he said it would be very difficult to actually trace an 'owner' to buy from, not sure if he was right but we moved shortly after so didn't pursue.
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03-08-2006, 21:32   #3
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If he's owned the house for at least 3 years (at least I think it's 3 years) he has the right to buy the freehold to the land, after which it would become known as a merged freehold. I did that with my house about 10 years ago, but my house was only on about 50 years of lease, so I had very little choice, as lenders wouldn't have offered mortgages on a house with so short a lease.

What he would need to do is to engage a solicitor who can search the house deeds to find out who owns the head lease for the property, and then approach them to enquire what price they would like. If your son and his solicitor think that the price being asked is unfair or disproportionate then they can apply to the court and they will decide a fair price and impose that on both parties.

But in essence, if your son has owned his house for long enough then the lease owners can't refuse to sell to him- they just get to haggle for a while about how much it costs.
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03-08-2006, 21:39   #4
pattricia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medusa
If he's owned the house for at least 3 years (at least I think it's 3 years) he has the right to buy the freehold to the land, after which it would become known as a merged freehold. I did that with my house about 10 years ago, but my house was only on about 50 years of lease, so I had very little choice, as lenders wouldn't have offered mortgages on a house with so short a lease.

What he would need to do is to engage a solicitor who can search the house deeds to find out who owns the head lease for the property, and then approach them to enquire what price they would like. If your son and his solicitor think that the price being asked is unfair or disproportionate then they can apply to the court and they will decide a fair price and impose that on both parties.

But in essence, if your son has owned his house for long enough then the lease owners can't refuse to sell to him- they just get to haggle for a while about how much it costs.
Thanks so much for your reply.Just wish I had a printer to save your info.but will keep referring back to it.
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03-08-2006, 23:04   #5
Bago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandakm
we has a leasehold terrace in hillsborough, paid a 'peppercorn' rent we asked solicitor about buying, he said it would be very difficult to actually trace an 'owner' to buy from, not sure if he was right but we moved shortly after so didn't pursue.
I can understand why this happens. A lot of the old leases were written years ago. It may be owned by some Duke or Lord... of some County. Tracing them can sometimes mean tracing the descendents of such families, and depending on who it is, they probably don't, or won't even know they inherited the land !
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04-08-2006, 00:26   #6
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Our land was recently sold by the council at auction. We decided not to bid as there are a chain of landlords (don't ask), and becoming the head alndlord wouldn't get us out of paying groundrent to the person who we currently pay to.

Instead we contacted Linda Loton at Irwin Mitchell solicitors in town, and we're perusing the purchase of the freehold, which eliminates that chain completely.

I can only assume Medusa's situation was that she purchased the land, but not the freehold, so it only became one and the same when it was sold on

(complicated isn't it? But Linda at IM was very patient and very informative )
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04-08-2006, 06:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medusa
If he's owned the house for at least 3 years (at least I think it's 3 years) he has the right to buy the freehold to the land, after which it would become known as a merged freehold.

But in essence, if your son has owned his house for long enough then the lease owners can't refuse to sell to him- they just get to haggle for a while about how much it costs.
Yes they can. What I think you're referring to is the law relating to leasehold flats, not houses.
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04-08-2006, 07:06   #8
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It does apply to houses Saxon and from memory (it's too early ) it's only 1 year these days and the amount payable is very little as a multiplier. I'll check up later.
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04-08-2006, 20:32   #9
samc3
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There is a briliiant service called the leasehold advisory service which provides free, independent advice - do a web search and you will find it.

I used to work as an adviser at a local advice centre and a few years ago we suddenly had a number of people coming in with lease problems. what was happening is that large amounts of headleases were being sold at auction and were being brought up by large london companies. What they had realised was that there was a lot of money to be made from leases because often they included clauses where they could impose their own insurance on leaseholders thereby enabling mark-ups. Also people often didn't realise that some leases state that the leaseholder has to get permission for building work from the freeholder/headlease. If people had carried out work without this permission problems arose.

in general it is always better to buy up the lease if possible - talk to the leasehold advisory service www.lease-advice.org for advise.

Good luck
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04-08-2006, 20:43   #10
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I bought the freehold to the land that my house is on- so the previously leasehold house became merged freehold. It was solicitors advice that the owners could not refuse to sell you the freehold, so I take that to be correct.
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04-08-2006, 20:44   #11
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A lease that has 800 years to run will be expensive,for example if the groundrent is 10.50 per year like mine was it would be 10.50 x 800. You will generally have to pay the lease in full, - the land owners details will be on the deeds - he should have that anyway, but the collector of the groundrent will know.
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04-08-2006, 22:02   #12
pattricia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindseyw
A lease that has 800 years to run will be expensive,for example if the groundrent is 10.50 per year like mine was it would be 10.50 x 800. You will generally have to pay the lease in full, - the land owners details will be on the deeds - he should have that anyway, but the collector of the groundrent will know.
Thanks for all your helpful advice on this matter.
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04-08-2006, 22:23   #13
vision
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindseyw
A lease that has 800 years to run will be expensive,for example if the groundrent is 10.50 per year like mine was it would be 10.50 x 800. You will generally have to pay the lease in full, - the land owners details will be on the deeds - he should have that anyway, but the collector of the groundrent will know.
Not at all. There is no fixed formula for the price. It is just negotiation between the 2 parties. In fact the longer the lease, the cheaper the price as it costs so little each year it is not worth paying much for the freehold. It is only when there is not much time left on the lease that people become worried and pay more for the freehold.

Your son has a 'right to buy' - even if he cannot find who is the freeholder. I have the same problem. My freeholder has died and does not seem to have left his estate to anyone. Nevertheless as long as I can prove I have tried to find out who now may own the land I can apply to a judge to buy the freehold. So I have rung the lease advice centre, spoken to an official who went into the freeholders home after he died and tried to find his will, and spoken to the dept. of the treasury solicitor - all to no avail, so now I am going to apply for the freehold

If you are in any doubt ring the lease advisory service to get the facts as I did.
www.lease-advice.org

Last edited by vision; 05-08-2006 at 09:32.
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06-08-2006, 14:30   #14
Strix
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According to this site:
Quote:
It is not correct just to multiply the ground rents by the remaining years of the term.
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06-08-2006, 21:25   #15
metalman
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Vision, if the owner of your lease died intestate, it will presumably have reverted to the Crown and I think you should still be able to buy it off them.
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10-11-2007, 18:33   #16
topflat29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindseyw View Post
A lease that has 800 years to run will be expensive,for example if the groundrent is 10.50 per year like mine was it would be 10.50 x 800. You will generally have to pay the lease in full, - the land owners details will be on the deeds - he should have that anyway, but the collector of the groundrent will know.
The price for buying the freehold should 10.50 x 12 =126 pounds.
You can get the LVT 2007 price for a leasehold house in Sheff from the xxx.rpts.gov.uk - click on decisions and then click on LVT and Northern to get to recent decision on Sheff.

I used xxx but you should type www instead.
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11-11-2007, 11:01   #17
Loops
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I will second that Lease are a fantastic agency.

Its very specialised advice regarding leases so best to speak to them, think they are open Mon-Fri something like 9am - 3pm (from memory!). You can also email them a query.
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