Written by Vincent Corleone @ v2lawblog
Property is steeped in often confusing legal terminology. When looking at property it is important to know the difference between Freehold and Lease hold two different types property or land ownership.
Leasehold: A title of ownership of property (usually a flat) for a fixed term but not the land on which it stands. Possession of the property will be subject to the payment of an annual ground rent. When the lease expires, ownership of the property reverts back to the freeholder. Nearly all flats in London are leasehold.
Freehold: Outright ownership of the property and land on which it stands. A freehold estate in land (as opposed to a leasehold) is where the owner of the land has no time limit to his period of ownership.
Here are some important things to know:
- Lease lengths vary and most common are 99, 125 (in the case of ex local authority) 500 and 999.
- Mortgage lenders like there to be at least 50 years left at the end of a mortgage term (i.e. 75 years in total).
- The lease includes enforcement covenants, rights of way and access, repairing and maintaining covenants, details of ground rent.
- The lease length may be extended by agreement with the Freeholder at a specified cost.
- A service charge is usual but is not essential; some blocks have a separate managing agent employed by the Freeholder.
- Share of Freehold is when the Freeholder divides up his responsibility and the leaseholders become directors of their leasehold company.
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