When buying a new home, you need to check whether it is a leasehold property or freehold property. Many home buyers do not understand the differences; a qualified Conveyancing Solicitor can help you understand your rights and responsibilities.
What is a Leasehold property?
Leasehold ownership of a flat simply refers to a long tenancy (the right to own, occupy and use a flat for a long period known as the 'term' of the lease).
Terms can range from 999 years to a few years; within that period, the flat can be bought and sold. From the outset of the lease the term is fixed and decreases every year thereafter. At the end of the lease, the flat is returned to the owner of the building. Your Conveyancing Solicitor can advise you on the number of years left on your lease.
Even though a leaseholder owns the property on a lease, the owner of the freehold retains ownership of the external and structural walls, as well as any common parts of the structure. The owner of the building is also responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building.
What is a Freehold property?
Freehold property means that the owner has complete and absolute ownership of the land, and all buildings that stand on it.
As the owner of a freehold property, there are less restrictions on what you can do with the land or dwelling provided that you comply with planning guidelines and restrictions.