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Question about buying a flat

(9 Posts)
susanjc9 Thu 18-May-17 19:12:55

We live in the US and thinking about moving to Scotland and I wondered when you buy a flat in Scotland and it's in a tenement block are you charged a monthly fee for the upkeep of the property (such as exterior improvements, new roof, etc)? If you buy a flat that is a detached house that has been divided into 2 or 3 flats who pays for exterior repairs?

HirplesWithHaggis Thu 18-May-17 19:22:13

The short answer is, it depends. It varies from block to block, and the particular requirements for any given flat will be in the deeds.

prettybird Thu 18-May-17 23:04:20

You are roughly right in that in a tenement it is the norm to pay a regular fee to a "factor" (or the tenement close flats off the hallway might choose to self-factor) to cover communal repairs (which may or may not include a block insurance), but as Hirples says, it depends.

In a "conversion", where a larger house has been divided into smaller units, again it depends. In Scotland though, it is normal to share responsibility for the roof, walls and foundations. (I think it is different in England where someone else might own the freehold). For example, I live in the upper half of a Victorian stone built villa. We share without downstairs neighbours the costs of ensuring that the roof is watertight and the guttering is maintained. If there were rising damp, we (as the upstairs neighbours) would have to share in the cost of dealing with it. We paint our own windows but would deal communally with something like pointing. We have to deal with the lead flashing of dormer window in the roof as that is just ours - and our neighbours have to deal with the bits of the roof in the ground level that are just theirs.

There does have to be a degree of common sense and goodwill: you don't want to have to always refer to the letter of the law.

If you do, there is a document called "The Law of the Tenement" which you really don't want to have to look at. (A lawyer friend sent it to us when our previous neighbours were causing problems when they were selling their house).

Shenanagins Fri 19-May-17 20:21:49

If your buying a tenement make sure it's factored. They are a bit useless and sometimes it feels like water down but the alternative is much worse!

Beebeeeight Sun 21-May-17 11:13:23

I prefer unfactored.

No 'management fee' wasted every month.

user1487194234 Sun 21-May-17 12:31:56

Some lenders won't lend on an unfacttored property

Namebot Sun 21-May-17 12:33:49

It depends on the city. Edinburgh tenements rarely have factors and shared repairs are a massive pain in the backside - especially if it's something major like the roof. Don't buy topfloor whatever you do.

Glasgow tenements seems more likely to have factors in my limited experience.

ImNotWhoYouThinkIAmOhNo Wed 24-May-17 20:24:41

Factoring definitely varies from city to city. In Dundee, it was uncommon. We bought an ex-council flat in a block. The council still owned at least one flat in the block, so they took on the role of factor. There was no monthly fee to pay. The council ensured the common drying green was cut regularly, and organised repairs and improvements, such as a new roof, and installing a security door on the close. They just did it, then sent each owner a bill for their share. It seemed very civilised - no drama.

In some areas the factor's fee includes buildings insurance. It varies a lot.

Also, when selling a property, owners have to fill in a questionnaire and it will include a question about the cost of the factor's fee. Take this with a pinch of salt! There is no external party verifying the information provided on these questionnaires. Many people provide a lower figure than you will actually pay. Why? Who knows ... maybe they've forgotten, maybe they can't do the arithmetic or most likely maybe they don't want you to be scared off by the high monthly fee!

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 24-May-17 22:56:43

Edinburgh rarely has factors except in new developments.

Some lenders won't lend on an unfacttored property

That would make the whole of the New Town and the vast majority of the West End, Bruntsfield, Newington, Marchmont,Stockbridge, Dalry, Gorgie and Leith unsaleable- which clearly they aren't.

If you buy a flat that is a detached house that has been divided into 2 or 3 flats who pays for exterior repairs?

Basically the same as a tenement but with only 2/3/4 sharing depending on how many flats.

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