Property that is leasehold is held subject to a Lease. The Lease will set out the terms on which the property is held, including the length of the lease and the rights and obligations that are imposed on the property. The Lease will be made between a Landlord (who will own a superior title) and the first tenant to whom the lease was granted. It is common that a ground rent and service charge will have to be paid to the Landlord by the owner of the property.
Each successive purchaser will take the benefit of the lease for the remainder of the term. You may vary the lease in numerous ways (extending the term, changing clauses etc.) with the consent of the Landlord.
Most flats will be leasehold.
The Lease will specify the boundaries of the property, and the property that is not included. For example, the internal walls of a flat may be included in a lease, but other flats in the same building and the roof and foundations of the building may not be included.
The lease should grant rights for the owner to cross over the paths and corridors of the wider land and to enter other parts of the building, if necessary, to repair and maintain the property.
When the property is sold, only the demised property will be transferred and not the entire building.
When freehold property is transferred, the whole land within the title is transferred and the buyer will take the land subject only to any restrictions or obligations that are registered against the legal title. Unlike leasehold land, ownership is not time limited and you will rarely be obliged to contribute towards payments such as service charge or ground rent.
Houses are generally freehold.
Whilst leases may restrict how leasehold property is disposed of, there are usually no restrictions preventing freehold property from being sold and bought (save for any third party interests such as mortgages).
Regardless of whether you are purchasing a flat or a house, we aim to provide you with the best service. If you have any queries regarding property law, it’s always a good idea to talk to a professional advisor. At Hanne & Co, our market leading team of specialist lawyers can provide you with all the information you need. Find out more about our Residential Property & Conveyancing services by clicking here.