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Ex council maisonette

(18 Posts)
OldSpeclkledHen Sun 27-Sep-20 14:58:32

So I've seen a lovely ex council maisonette (basically I've fallen in love and mentally moved in 🙄🙄 I know right 🙊🙊)
What is scaring me is stories about the maintenance fees the council can expect a private owner to cough up (the row is part council, part private owned)
A builder friend came with me for the second viewing, he pointed out the gable end is coming away (he doesn't think it's tied into the roof?) and he said he wouldn't touch it 🙊
Do I walk away? I love the property! Gargh!

OP’s posts: |
silentpool Sun 27-Sep-20 15:07:05

I would not touch it with a bargepole. I am living in the one privately owned apartment in a council managed block. I have no control over my neighbours and one is mentally unwell and making life hell. I am the only working person in the building and everyone else lives like they are on holiday with no responsibilities. Any maintenance issues in communal areas sit with the council, which is painful in the extreme and it looks like a dive.

JoJoSM2 Sun 27-Sep-20 15:11:49

If a builder says he wouldn’t touch the property, then I’d forget about it.

Holdingtherope Sun 27-Sep-20 15:14:56

HVe you got a link

CherryRipe1 Sun 27-Sep-20 15:42:34

You might be liable to share with the Freeholders ie Council for any building updates/repairs ie new windows, roofing, fire doors. That can run into thousands so due diligence there. The tenants don't have to pay anything. I'm guessing the maisonette is leasehold?

SELDNMUM Sun 27-Sep-20 15:48:07

We currently live in an ex-council maisonette and have done for 4years with no problems.

You wouldn’t actually have control of your neighbours anywhere you lived. As with anything do your research on the area and speak to neighbours.

Yes, You pay a service charge, but you’d have to do that anyways in blocks and I think generally Council ones are cheaper than private blocks and you also don’t have the issue where’s the double every 10years or whatever and ground rent is minimal. Yes if there is major work you will have to contribute and you’ll be allowed to pay in instalments.

I think if you like the house and the price and location are right for you, don’t be put off simply because it’s council owned. Do your research and due diligence as you would with any property you’re buying and then make a decision

WombatChocolate Sun 27-Sep-20 18:09:12

It’s fine in terms of regular service charges but the problems come when there’s a major expense outside regular service charge like new windows or new roof etc.
You have zero ability to say the work should not be done and although the council are required to get 3 quotes for the work, when told the total cost and your share, there is no real workable possibility to object. And frequently the costs are vast because they include elements of council admin in processing it all, which certainly mount up. And they require their leaseholders to cough up and will ruthlessly pursue as otherwise the bill falls on the council. It seems especially bad when there are few private owners.

20 years ago I owned an ex council flat and was presented with a bill for £2k for window painting - not replacing, just painting. The workmen painted all my windows shut so they wouldn’t open. I explained and refused to pay. Someone came round when I was out and used a tool to enable the windows to open which damaged the paintwork. They were not interested in looking or redoing work or cutting bill. So I didn’t pay. But when I came to sell up and move Zi had to pay the bill (as I knew I eventually would have to ....this is the outrageous thing - that there is no redress) for the solicitor to be able to exchange.

Others I knew had to pay £17k for double glazing if a 1 bed flat. In the programme ‘council house Britain’ a private owner faces a bill for £121k to refurbish his tower block - yes £121k.

So I would avoid it. Maisonettes are often in very small blocks but when several blocks are together they are often treated as a unit for maintenance charges and the the bills can be vast ....and worst of all uncontrollable. It is very poor because otherwise ex council flats have loads of benefits. But I’d only go ex council house now.

OldSpeclkledHen Sun 27-Sep-20 19:31:22

Thank You, yes it's leasehold and the service charge is minimal.

Understand that you have no control over neighbours anywhere you live (I've been in my tiny flat for 20 years, most of them are rented) - the council part doesn't bother me so much (it's a nice village!)

My flat going on the market this week, so will see what happens... (what will be will be) but it is all just so scary, I don't want to make a bad decision- thank you everyone

OP’s posts: |
Viviennemary Sun 27-Sep-20 19:45:52

I agree. If builder said don't touch it then don't.

SuitedandBooted Sun 27-Sep-20 20:11:58

Cable end on a maisonette shock No way, and I say that as somebody with a design degree who worked in an architectural engineers!

If you really love it, you could call the council and ask if they have any plans to rectify the fault (and any idea of cost - they MIGHT have noted it], but chances are you won't get a proper answer.

OldSpeclkledHen Sun 27-Sep-20 21:05:22

@SuitedandBooted the other end of the row has been done?!

This end has just been re-pointed?!

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CherryRipe1 Mon 28-Sep-20 12:13:17

Please please heed all the caveats here. I know when you fall in love with a place the heart can rule the head but with the gable issues plus the potential costs of major works I would avoid. A work colleague was a leaseholder/occupier in a council block and got stung for 40k around 10 years back for his share towards double glazing for the whole block.

RedRumTheHorse Mon 28-Sep-20 12:23:16

If a builder says don't touch then don't touch it.

Regardless of what type of housing you are looking at if someone who has more knowledge and you trust says it is a poor idea then listen to them.

If you are going to look at any more ex-council properties you need to research the council and their attitude to works. Some councils have been taken to Tribunal by leaseholders and lost. These councils tend to be much better at controlling costs than others where the council has won.

ICouldHaveCheckedFirst Mon 28-Sep-20 12:36:51

We owned an ex-council flat. The rule locally was that while the council still owned 1 flat, they pro-actively arranged all maintenance and billed each owner for 1/6 of the cost as required. Grass cutting was covered by council tax, not charged separately.
New roof cost was split. The council also repaired some storm damage, at no cost to us (I assume insurance paid).
Benefit is the block was maintained, and not allowed to fall into disrepair.
Ask for their plans re the gable end before you go any further.

hauntedvagina Mon 28-Sep-20 12:50:44

Don't buy it. There's a documentary on 4od at the moment about council housing. They interviewed a man who'd bought his council flat years ago and had been presented with a six figure bill for his share of building improvements (fire proofing, cladding issues, etc...).

Watch this before you even consider making an offer.

OldSpeclkledHen Mon 28-Sep-20 19:13:15

I've informed the EA that although I love it, the gable end really concern me (and I really want to live in a house - been in flat for 20years)

I know it the right thing, my friend knows what he's talking about, and he's just looking out for me

Scary as fuckitity fuck though my flat gone on the market today 😳😳😳

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OldSpeclkledHen Mon 28-Sep-20 19:14:12

Thank You everyone 🙂🙂 jeez this is scary stuff 😂😂

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WombatChocolate Tue 29-Sep-20 18:33:52

Good call!
Hope you sell soon and find somewhere you love that won't be a ticking time bomb like this flat sounded to be. Try to get a house ideally or if a flat not an ex- LA and if a flat, in a small development which won't be cost sharing across vast numbers of properties.

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