Talk to me about buying a flat in a block pls.

(6 Posts)
MrsWhirling Thu 03-Sep-15 10:46:55

Hi all,

I am going to view a ground floor flat in a largish block later. This is because so far this is the only property I have found in my budget in the area where I want to live. I would be interested to hear what are the negatives of buying a property like this and what I should be looking out for. Thanks xx

lorelei9 Thu 03-Sep-15 10:55:43

not sure I understand the question. You mean you've never considered a flat or a flat in a large block?

I live in a large block. I would say we benefit from economies of scale on things like cleaning and management charges. Previously lived in a smaller block and when we looked at changing companies, the charges were extortionate because many companies have a minimum that they will charge whether it's 12 or 4 flats.

if you were hoping to buy a house but now looking at a flat, then it's a different conversation. I could never have afforded a house.

I presume you're familiar with leasehold, share of freehold etc. My experience of share of freehold - cheaper than leasehold, but more annoying as you have to liaise with neighbours to get decisions made and any disagreements can make things uncomfortable, especially if you are friends with your neighbours.

if you come back with specific questions I am happy to try and help, good luck.

MrsWhirling Thu 03-Sep-15 14:29:37

Hi, thanks.
I have never brought a leasehold flat before, only freehold houses. So wanted to know anything I should be aware of/ careful of i.e Service charges and how that works if you're in a block?

lorelei9 Thu 03-Sep-15 15:43:22

Leasehold is a huge subject.

there isn't really a set "how it works" - it will depend on your lease.

The only things, I think, that are set in stone, will be:

you pay ground rent

Many blocks have service charges for regular cleaning and maintenance, gardening if there is one. Mine includes my water as well.

Some blocks run a fund and manage it themselves with leaseholders involved in the management and allocation of money, others don't.

I'm currently in one that doesn't have any leaseholder involvement and I regret that now as the freeholder is not incentivised to get value for money for our service charge and we don't have a way of sorting that out.

So if you can get one where leaseholders get a say in how money is spent, I would do that. I realise it's not always possible with flats though.

Having a full service managing agent does mean not having much to sort out myself though. You can get leaseholder blocks where the leaseholders themselves do the management as well. So there's a big variety.

these things might be useful
www.lease-advice.org/publications/documents/document.asp?item=7

MrsWhirling Thu 03-Sep-15 15:51:39

Thank you for that, it's really helpful and useful to know x

Jasper15 Sun 13-Sep-15 17:01:45

First of all go to my thread on the Property topic which is called Freeholder/Landlord nightmare. This is a worst case scenario. The landlords are a large institution who have no personal dealings with the tenants. They are in it for money-business- whereas the leaseholders see it as their home or at least an investment.
You can be hit twice by them1.They charge high maintenance and drag their heels to get things done 2. They can dictate to you eg you have to ask permisson to do things to your property or they do things you do not want e.g put up a communal satellite dish and ask you to pay your share.
The problem is it is often hard to get all the leaseholders in a block to agree at the same time.
As well as high charges you need to remember that while you are on the ground floor you are still going to be paying for the upkeep of the lift or lifts which you will never use.
Read any leases conditions very carefully and find a solicitor who knows about this area of law
Factor in Ground Rent Yearly service charge and contributing to a sinking fund. The latter is a good idea by the way for any flat.

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