Author Topic: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks  (Read 1791 times)

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2021, 11:45:02 AM »
I'm not a expert but basically a freehold means that you own the property and leasehold means that you "own" let's say, a flat but you don't own the ground that it stands on or the building that your flat is contained in, and as such there is a property management company above you who have a set of rules in place and will tell you that you can't keep a pet in "your" flat and will tell you that you cannot alter the exterior of your flat in any way. Great if you like being spied on and micro managed while living to a predefined set of rules, not good if you want to put a shed outside your ground floor flat.

Sorry but isn’t that completely insane?

I own my house, but not the land it is situated on so I can’t do anything to my own building? In what sense do I “own” it then? It’s Kafka-esque.

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2021, 11:53:44 AM »
I believe https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonhold this was invented to help improve the situation but hardly any have ever been set up, probably because it is massively in the rent-seekers interests to carry on being parasitic entities.

Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2021, 12:05:36 PM »
Sorry but isn’t that completely insane?

I own my house, but not the land it is situated on so I can’t do anything to my own building? In what sense do I “own” it then? It’s Kafka-esque.

We were renting a leasehold, but even if we did own it, I think we would have been allowed to do some decorating and home improvements within the flat, but still no pets and any other rules that the management company enforce. Even though it's "your" property.

Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2021, 12:39:31 PM »
Blimey, I only had a vague idea of this and will be buying for the first time this year (at age 42). Looks like a small 2 up 2 down would be better than a large tenement flat[1] which is what I was considering. 
 1. i'll be moving to Scotland

katzenjammer

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2021, 12:45:59 PM »
Quote
We were renting a leasehold, but even if we did own it, I think we would have been allowed to do some decorating and home improvements within the flat, but still no pets and any other rules that the management company enforce. Even though it's "your" property.

It depends what's written in the lease. In ours you could do pretty much what you wanted to the interior but anything exterior required the freeholder's permission.  Fun when water is pissing through the roof but you can't get it fixed because the freeholder is on a month long cruise.

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2021, 12:50:00 PM »
Quote
Looks like a small 2 up 2 down would be better than a large tenement flat[1] which is what I was considering.

Even many homes you would think of as traditional houses rather than flats can be leasehold, I'm afraid. Even brand new freehold homes can also be strewn with cuntery, with the builders retaining an interest for well into the future.

icehaven

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2021, 12:50:56 PM »
I knew about leasehold etc. but I had no idea they could tell you if you could have pets or not. How does that work now since the law this year about landlords not being allowed to ban pets anymore without good reason? Surely management companies that own leaseholds are subject to the same law?

Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2021, 12:56:34 PM »
Even many homes you would think of as traditional houses rather than flats can be leasehold, I'm afraid. Even brand new freehold homes can also be strewn with cuntery, with the builders retaining an interest for well into the future.

Would never buy a new build or leasehold house. Ever.

Might just get a camper van and travel round the UK having adventures and solving crimes.

katzenjammer

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2021, 01:48:18 PM »
Even many homes you would think of as traditional houses rather than flats can be leasehold, I'm afraid. Even brand new freehold homes can also be strewn with cuntery, with the builders retaining an interest for well into the future.


It's absolutely disgusting, the doubling ground rents scandal from a few years back (which I think may now have been banned?) was daylight robbery

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/nov/05/ground-rent-scandal-engulfing-new-home-buyers-leasehold

Quote
In the Greenwoods’ 125-year lease the £250 ground rent on the two-bed flat doubles every 10 years. In three years it will be £500 a year (on top of the current £840-a-year service charge), rising to £8,000 from 2059. Greenwood has made estimates that over the life of the lease (125 years) the freeholder will invoice the 32 apartments for a total of £21,672,000.

If you're beholden to someone in any way they can always find a way to rip you off.  Think I might have mentioned it before but for a lot of leases the freeholder is responsible for the building insurance but the leaseholder has to pay for their proportion.  So what unscrupulous freeholders and insurers do is get a ridiculously high premium which has a large commission and then split that between them.  I suspect this was happening to me.  My insurance cost was rising every year by £100 despite never making any claims. There wasn't anything I could do about it; Couldn't prove I was being ripped off and had no say about the insurance policy the freeholder chose.




Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2021, 02:31:57 PM »
I knew about leasehold etc. but I had no idea they could tell you if you could have pets or not. How does that work now since the law this year about landlords not being allowed to ban pets anymore without good reason? Surely management companies that own leaseholds are subject to the same law?

Our landlord actually didn't mind that we had a cat, it was the cunty management company who kicked off about it, in the middle of lockdown. I wish I could have stuck around to see the management reluctantly begin to allow pets, however we have thankfully moved into freehold. So our old man cat can sit in the window all he wants without the fear of jobsworths with nothing better to do. It's a great feeling.

Zetetic

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2021, 03:08:19 PM »
Sorry but isn’t that completely insane?
The really insane (but admittedly mostly irrelevant thing) is that in Wales and England, only one person is allowed to own any land.

Quote
I own my house, but not the land it is situated on so I can’t do anything to my own building? In what sense do I “own” it then? It’s Kafka-esque.
In fairness, pretty much all the legal traditions of Europe have something a bit like this where people have various exclusive rights relating to where they live but not necessarily actual "real property rights". Whether this works well or not depends on the implementation details more than the wording of the construct.

icehaven

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2021, 03:37:39 PM »
I knew about leasehold etc. but I had no idea they could tell you if you could have pets or not. How does that work now since the law this year about landlords not being allowed to ban pets anymore without good reason? Surely management companies that own leaseholds are subject to the same law?

Our landlord actually didn't mind that we had a cat, it was the cunty management company who kicked off about it, in the middle of lockdown. I wish I could have stuck around to see the management reluctantly begin to allow pets, however we have thankfully moved into freehold. So our old man cat can sit in the window all he wants without the fear of jobsworths with nothing better to do. It's a great feeling.

I've just read more about the law change I mentioned and unfortunately it's more or less bollocks. What's happened is a standard tenancy agreement template has been created which includes this thing about landlords not being able to refuse pets, however using this template agreement instead of their own is entirely voluntary on the part on the landlord, so it's not actually enforceable at all so completely toothless. I'd imagine the uptake of it is about fuck all. Quite disappointing really.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2021, 04:26:13 PM »
I'm not a expert but basically a freehold means that you own the property and leasehold means that you "own" let's say, a flat but you don't own the ground that it stands on or the building that your flat is contained in, and as such there is a property management company above you who have a set of rules in place and will tell you that you can't keep a pet in "your" flat and will tell you that you cannot alter the exterior of your flat in any way. Great if you like being spied on and micro managed while living to a predefined set of rules, not good if you want to put a shed outside your ground floor flat.

I thought leaseholds were time-limited too? Usually around 120 odd years. And the arse falls out of the value when it starts to fall below 80ish years.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2021, 04:31:39 PM »
Blimey, I only had a vague idea of this and will be buying for the first time this year (at age 42). Looks like a small 2 up 2 down would be better than a large tenement flat[1] which is what I was considering.
 1. i'll be moving to Scotland

Leaseholds aren't a thing in Scotland:

Quote
While you are solely responsible for the upkeep of your own flat or house, parts of the tenement building or estate are normally the joint responsibility of all the owners whose title deeds say they have a right of common property. In a tenement this will typically include parts such as the common stairs or lifts. In an estate, access roads are typically common property.

(which is what Zetetic was hinting at)

Usually what happens is the owners in a flat appoint some management (or one of the owners takes it upon themselves to manage it): https://www.mygov.scot/property-factors

You might also want to read this:
https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/advice-and-guidance/2013/03/common-repair-common-sense-guide-to-managing-tenements/documents/common-repair-common-sense-short-guide-management-tenements-scotland-pdf/common-repair-common-sense-short-guide-management-tenements-scotland-pdf/govscot%3Adocument/Common%2BRepair%252C%2BCommon%2BSense%2B-%2Ba%2Bshort%2Bguide%2Bto%2Bthe%2Bmanagement%2Bof%2Btenements%2Bin%2BScotland.pdf

Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2021, 05:42:21 PM »
I rented a leasehold flat for a few years. It was a nice location but controlled by a property management company which meant that even if you owned your own property,  you had to abide by their arbitrary rules such as nothing other than vehicles to be stored in garages and no hanging clothes on the balcony. First, after a month or so of living there, there was a complaint that I had two cars parked in the car park, along with my motorbike. This gave me an overbearing sense of being watched, whoever made the complaint knew exactly which vehicles belong to whom and how many of them there were. Then a couple of years later we decided to get an indoor cat, after about a year of having this harmless elderly cat who pretty much just sleeps all day,  we got another message from the management company demanding that we get rid of the cat. The landlord was actually fine with us having a cat, but the management over rules the "owner" of the property. They must have seen him sleeping in the window and grassed us up. These cunts actually tried to make us get rid of a cat in the middle of a pandemic. I didn't get rid of the cat, I put pet gates in the windows so that he could not be seen by prying eyes while we went about getting our own house. Now the cat lives happily in a place where nosy twats won't trouble him. Hopefully I will never have to get a leasehold again.

We live in a rented flat which has a management company for the block, and someone came round for a structural inspection and told me we weren't supposed to have hard floors as the lease specified they were to be carpeted. Nothing happened as we are on the first floor above garages, but what is point of buying flat if you can't have the floors you choose?

That said, are leaseholds always THAT bad? If you buy a flat in London it's going to be one most likely, and the chances of us ever affording more than that here is exceedingly small.

Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2021, 05:52:26 PM »
Leaseholds aren't a thing in Scotland

Sweet.

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2021, 07:38:09 PM »
I work in conveyancing please don't ever buy a leasehold property or enter into a shared ownership agreement regardless of how tempting it may seem upfront. Cheers.

Ah fuck. My flat is leasehold but it doesn't seem to have affected anything so far.

greencalx

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2021, 07:45:39 PM »
Indeed as others have said, the situation re tenements in Scotland is indeed very different. A sort of leasehold-type arrangement ("feudal tenancy") existed until surprisingly recently, however I wasn't aware of anyone who was actually paying their feu superior the two shillings a month or whatever it was "for all time coming", as it said in our deeds. The situation, as I understand it, is that you own the physical space that your flat occupies (up to half-way in the walls to the next flat etc) and have rights/responsibilities over the common areas: the ground it sits on, the front door, stair, gardens, roof etc. Owners are jointly responsible for the upkeep of the common areas, which can be a PITA. In some cases the upkeep is delegated to a "factor" - I'm not sure what the arrangement is here as I've only lived on one factored stair and that was when I was renting. I believe the factors are appointed by the homeowners and can therefore be replaced at any time. Most stairs I lived on didn't have a factor and you just got on with it by yourselves. Obviously there can be a problem here is one of the homeowners doesn't want to contribute to the maintenance. The recent changes in the law made all this stuff easier - if a majority of the homeowners decide to do something, the rest are obliged to stump up and can face legal action if they don't. Reassuring if you've got the means to do a repair and want to get it done; not so great I guess if you're skint and everyone else decides the place needs a new roof.

Fun fact: if the building is demolished, you continue to own the airspace that the flat occupied, and inherit a corresponding proportion of whatever building is erected in its place.

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2021, 07:45:54 PM »
Have you come to remortgage yet? You'll be looking at £80-£170 for the pleasure of your freeholder's dogsbody company literally receipting and returning a Notice of Charge to the conveyancer appointed (who may also charge you £20-30 for preparing it, even on a free standard legals mortgage product) then updating their records (if they even keep any).

Tip of the iceberg there.

Zetetic

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2021, 07:45:58 PM »
I believe https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonhold this was invented to help improve the situation but hardly any have ever been set up, probably because it is massively in the rent-seekers interests to carry on being parasitic entities.
If you're feeling unduly upbeat and cheerful why not start reading this 640 page Law Commission report into why there are no commonhold properties?

(The bit linked to talks about the theoretical ability of leaseholders to collectively obtain the freehold and then convert to commonhold.)

Ultimately, it's hard to see a way forward on land reform in Wales and England without at least some violence.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2021, 08:28:50 PM »
I think someone I know has managed to try and do the commonhold in an ex-london council block because the maintenance firm were useless and did stuff like forbidding dogs. It did take a bit of legal legwork and I think they managed to get their mp[1] involved.
 1. never say Stella "it's still ubi if we means-test it" Creasy isn't looking out for the owner-occupiers in her constituency.

Re: Leaseholds and other even worse partial ownership bollocks
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2021, 08:42:00 PM »
My house has a 900 odd year lease with £10 a year ground rent. Sefton Council (who own the freehold) still claim the ground rent each year. I've had the house for three years now which means I can buy the freehold if I wanted to, so I'll have to look into that at some point.

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