Selling a leasehold maisonette, what are usual enquiries?(6 Posts)
Can anyone shed some light and does it seem normal? We sold a maisonette 4 years ago which is a few doors down but didnt have any enquiries raised and was very straight forward.
We accepted an offer on our current property 4 weeks ago and we've had a few enquiries, some of which include boundaries, boiler safety certificate, any guarantees and indemnity policies as well as any structural defects or damp etc that we know of.
These seem like general things to ask but im concerned about something they have queried in particular. They asked if we had seen the charges register on the lease and asked to confirm what is on our land and confirm we have not breached any covenants.
When we bought it, it was in such a state and needed complete refurbishment, the overgrown rear garden contained a large timber workshop building but the tree behind it had grown into it and made the building unstable and unsafe (especially with a toddler about). We had to take this building down and replaced it with a large timber shed type building but with a flat roof, the EA called it a summerhouse to make listing good. The lease states that we can have a timber shed for domestic purposes and also states that we are responsible for maintaining and repairing any problems to the maisonette and land. Now im worried why they have queried this, all we did was replace what already existed. We couldn't clarify at the time either as the freeholder had gone into administration and were not contactable.
Who owns the freehold now?
From experience, buyers want to know details of the freeholder.
We were going to buy a LH maisonette 50/50 with a daughter, but her mortgage was turned down at the last minute because the freeholder was apparently absent - the vendor hadn't seen or heard from him for several years, and he hadn't demanded any ground rent for years, either.
In fact he was living a few miles away under another name, as we found out later (there were debts attached to the FH). We ended up buying anyway, and later bought the FH too, to avoid such problems in future.
We also own the FH of the lower maisonette, and when that was sold not long ago the buyer's solicitor needed our details.
I had to employ a tracing service (private investigator) to run our former freeholder to earth, but they did locate him pretty fast.
Do you have a copy of your lease? It sounds as though you may have needed written consent from the landlord/freeholder to replace the existing shed. Do you own the land the shed is built on, or is it communal land? You do need to read the lease to understand what you can and cannot do. It is not uncommon to need freeholder consent before carrying out any alterations.
The freeholder is a company and they have a managing agent to deal with the tenants but they are ridiculously disorganized, they were sending our ground rent demands to the wrong address and then tried to get bailiffs involved to recover costs when we didn't pay up as we didn't know who we were paying!
The land belongs to our property and the lease does state we can erect a timber constructed shed. We are also wondering why it was never bought up when we purchased the property that a workshop was there, it had working electrics, a huge work bench, shelving and lots of rusty old tools.
Is it possible the buyers have queried if consent has been given? They are planning on changing layout slightly so must be wondering if consent is easy to obtain i suppose.
Yes, most certainly they will be querying if consent was given. You can get retrospective consent but there will be a charge. You cannot change the layout without the consent as it will be a breach of the lease.
The buyer's solicitor will want contact details of the management company and they will expect you to pay for a Leasehold Management Pack to be provided (paid by you) which will give details of last three year's accounts, fire risk, asbestos risk, rent arrears, service charges, ground rent and if any notices have been issued, i.e. for major works.
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