Leasehold – what does it mean?

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26 Jun Leasehold – what does it mean?

Royal Tunbridge Wells is spoilt for choice when it comes to the variety of properties available. It’s no wonder our city is so popular among London commuters, first time buyers, family home seekers and older population. We have everything you might want.

Whether you are looking for a flat as your first home or a small bungalow to retire to the chances are, Tunbridge Wells will meet your requirements.

With such a diverse local property market you can imagine we deal with a number of different complexities and one trend which we have noticed is that Joe Public doesn’t necessarily understand the concept of ‘leasehold’ properties.

We don’t blame you – it’s like algebra: you don’t need to know it, until you need to know it!

So what kind of questions are we asked about leasehold properties? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is a leasehold property?

Leasehold is one of the most common ways of owning a dwelling in a building with multiple dwellings. Flats, maisonettes and apartments are a prime example. The leasehold means that you have exclusive ownership of the right to occupy the property for the duration of the lease. This can be anything from 99 to 999 years. Make sure you know how long is left on the lease before you buy.

Will I have to pay ground rent?

Short answer is yes. This is a payment to the owner of the land upon which the building is stood – the landlord. It can vary in value and is subject to fluctuations so make sure you speak to your solicitor to clarify when it changes and by what amount.

Do Service Charges apply to leasehold properties?

Again, yes. The service charge is your share of the maintenance costs for the building in which your property is situated. It covers things like communal areas and services like swimming pools and reception areas. They are usually paid annually and will vary depending on your facilities.

Can I make changes to my leasehold property?

Some leases will stipulate that you can’t make any alterations without the consent of the freeholder/landlord. Before you buy, make sure you check with the management agent or directly with the landlord.

Can I sublet a leasehold property?

This is specific to the building’s lease. Some leases might not allow subletting. Others may require consent and others may have no restrictions. If you are planning on subletting at any point you need to check the terms of the lease before taking any steps along the purchase process.

Can my lease expire?

Like any tenancy there is a beginning and an end. Ensure you are fully informed as to how long is left on the lease when you enquire about the property. Your estate agent or solicitor will be able to give you this information.

Get in Touch

If you would like to speak to a member of our team about your options please make sure you call us on 01892 530109 or email us. Remember, for property in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

image credit: arfa adam

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