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Coppen Estates. . . .Sheffield

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Can anyone tell me what it might cost to buy the freehold from Coppen when there's roughly 700 years of the lease term remaining and a ground rent of £4 a year? House price valuation is uncertain but will be in the region of £185k.

 

Reading up quite a few pages, I see Coppen (at least back in 2019) charge a fixed £500+VAT legal fee and £500+VAT surveyor fee, also around £50 payable in HMLR fees. I'm looking to find out what the purchase price might be, and an estimate of my own fees. 

 

Thanks

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Coppen will not sell voluntarily. Your solicitor will have to serve Notice of Claim and, even then it's always a fight to achieve even a moderately reasonable package cost. Only that solicitor can tell you what he/she will charge.

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Sorry to tag onto this thread, we have a similarly long lease, a nominal yearly ground rent but with a different landlord.

 

I'm curious as to the benefit in procuring the freehold when the cost and the hassle is going to far outweigh the ground rent over our lifetime? I have been trying to decipher, with little success so far, our 1935 lease document written in calligraphy italic style font to see if there are any restrictions about what we can and can't do with the land and the house. 

 

That leads me to wonder why a landlord would be so keen to purchase freehold interests. We have a new landlord and the letter details although the freehold interests they've purchased, it's in the region of 50 or so properties. I would imagine they like ours are with a fixed ground rent, ours is £7 per annum. What does the landlord gain?

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1 hour ago, chipfork said:

What does the landlord gain?

 

They probably buy them cheap, large numbers at a time.  Then collect the yearly ground rent and occasionally sell one or two.

There's no maintenance cost, small amount of admin for the ground rent collection, and if you want your money back out it's fairly easy to sell on again.

 

The gains don't seem big, but there's no real downside either so your money is fairly safe.

Edited by geared

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1 hour ago, chipfork said:

Sorry to tag onto this thread, we have a similarly long lease, a nominal yearly ground rent but with a different landlord.

 

I'm curious as to the benefit in procuring the freehold when the cost and the hassle is going to far outweigh the ground rent over our lifetime? I have been trying to decipher, with little success so far, our 1935 lease document written in calligraphy italic style font to see if there are any restrictions about what we can and can't do with the land and the house. 

 

That leads me to wonder why a landlord would be so keen to purchase freehold interests. We have a new landlord and the letter details although the freehold interests they've purchased, it's in the region of 50 or so properties. I would imagine they like ours are with a fixed ground rent, ours is £7 per annum. What does the landlord gain?

£7 per year is low- but Coppen has economies of scale in owning 000s. Plus it also demands fees for:

a. non-compliant buildings insurance; and

b. consent to alterations.

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3 hours ago, Jeffrey Shaw said:

£7 per year is low- but Coppen has economies of scale in owning 000s. Plus it also demands fees for:

a. non-compliant buildings insurance; and

b. consent to alterations.

What I can decipher from the lease is that it was £3 and 10 shillings in March and the same again in September.

 

Our new landlord hasn't really shared a great deal of information, then again neither did the previous landlord. There's no mention of compliant buildings insurance, we tend to shop around each year and swap providers.

There's no mention as to when we need to pay, only how (transfer or cheque), so I assume they'll send an invoice. We setup a standard order with the previous landlord which meant the invoices stopped coming.

They do mention that alterations may need consent and that we should write to them in order to confirm the requirements and approval process. I'm trying to decipher the lease document (drafted in 1935) to see if there is anything mentioned there. It's interesting that many of our neighbours have made alterations including extensions so it will be useful to find out if they informed the landlord. 

 

I can't see any real benefit in procuring the freehold, particularly if the lease doesn't bring any great constraints and with the landlord being tied to reasonable admin fees. I'm struggling to see how they'll benefit from the tranche of freehold interests that they've purchased, all are of a similar age and build to ours so likely to have a similar ground rent. Unless of course they're banking on some decent returns on arrears and admin fees.  

 

I have had a read through this and other posts and there's a great deal of useful information there, thanks Jeffrey!

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21 hours ago, chipfork said:

What I can decipher from the lease is that it was £3 and 10 shillings in March and the same again in September.

 

Our new landlord hasn't really shared a great deal of information, then again neither did the previous landlord. There's no mention of compliant buildings insurance, we tend to shop around each year and swap providers.

There's no mention as to when we need to pay, only how (transfer or cheque), so I assume they'll send an invoice. We setup a standard order with the previous landlord which meant the invoices stopped coming.

They do mention that alterations may need consent and that we should write to them in order to confirm the requirements and approval process. I'm trying to decipher the lease document (drafted in 1935) to see if there is anything mentioned there. It's interesting that many of our neighbours have made alterations including extensions so it will be useful to find out if they informed the landlord. 

 

I can't see any real benefit in procuring the freehold, particularly if the lease doesn't bring any great constraints and with the landlord being tied to reasonable admin fees. I'm struggling to see how they'll benefit from the tranche of freehold interests that they've purchased, all are of a similar age and build to ours so likely to have a similar ground rent. Unless of course they're banking on some decent returns on arrears and admin fees.  

 

I have had a read through this and other posts and there's a great deal of useful information there, thanks Jeffrey!

 

There is a specific way that the 'landlord' must request the money from you, and they must make that request every time payment is due.

 

You are not required to setup a standing order or anything like that, and if they do not make the request in the proper format you are not required to pay.

Edited by geared

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On 10/06/2021 at 18:29, geared said:

 

There is a specific way that the 'landlord' must request the money from you, and they must make that request every time payment is due.

 

You are not required to setup a standing order or anything like that, and if they do not make the request in the proper format you are not required to pay.

Yes. See all posts re s.166 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

Note: no Coppen ground rent demand has ever complied with s.166, as far as I know- I stand open to correction!

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On 13/12/2020 at 20:45, Jeffrey Shaw said:

NB: never pay > 6yrs arrears anyway. Debts beyond that period are time-barred: Limitation Act 1980.

Does this apply to the insurance approval charge? I had no idea about this charge and got a bill for 12years  arrears last year, backdated to when I moved in (I’m really angry my Solicitor did not point it out to me or stand up to their demands to increase the ground rent when I purchased but that’s another story). I’ve spoken to the Lease Advisory Service today and they were very vague about how far back they could charge the insurance approval charge but chose 12 years over 6 years. I’d rather believe you on this one but don’t want to store up issues with them that will be brought up when I sell in a few years as seems to be their tactic. 

 

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