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What does 'Freehold' mean?

Freehold

A part of the building that includes the ground it was built on and the structure of the building. Most houses are freehold meaning the current occupier owns it all. There are however a large number of leasehold houses as well. In the case of apartment blocks, the block and the ground are the freehold while the owners of each apartment are leaseholders. Sometimes these leaseholders buy the freehold. If this occurs the apartments of the people who bought the freehold are known as Share of Freehold rather than Leasehold.

Search Results for 'freehold' in How to Really Buy a Property

"...Your friend, for example, may have bought a brand new apartment where the builder has an experienced legal team that drew up a full set of papers months ago. A solicitor has to be seriously incompetent to cock up that transaction whereas they only need to be mildly incompetent to mess things up with your Victorian leasehold where the freeholder who produced the lease is a bank in Japan or the Earl of Cornwall! ..."
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"... characteristics of a leasehold property; What lease lengths affect a properties value; How lease lengths can be extended; Why Share of freehold is not always attractive; The agent's obligations if you make an offer. - How the System Works - It is an incredible thought that many of..."
"... most frequently used are: First Time Buyer Chain Free and Vacant Possession Tenanted Cash Purchasers Only Repossession Leasehold Share of freehold Freehold - First Time Buyer - Originally this term arose to mean exactly what it said, "A buyer who has nothing to sell because..."
"... frequently used are: First Time Buyer Chain Free and Vacant Possession Tenanted Cash Purchasers Only Repossession Leasehold Share of freehold Freehold - First Time Buyer - Originally this term arose to mean exactly what it said, "A buyer who has nothing to sell because this is..."
"...A property that is leasehold can be bought for a certain number of years. As an example, a leasehold flat might have seventy years left on the lease. If you buy this property it is on the understanding that you will give it to the freeholder in seventy years time, for free. The freeholder is the ultimate owner of the property. It is important to be aware that a leasehold property is not necessarily a flat or apartment. England and Wales are awash with Leasehold houses as well. ..."
"...Having a freeholder: When the owner of a building sells off parts of that structure as leaseholds he is saying, "For this amount of money, you may use this part of the building for the next one hundred years. After that time you must give it back to me as I gave it to you." That is the basis of leasehold. The freehold is a separate entity to the leasehold flats and can be sold with the leaseholders hardly noticing. As such the freeholder at the time you buy a property may be different a week later! ..."
"...The Lease: What the freeholder expects of you and what you expect from the freeholder over this hundred year period is laid out in the lease. This includes who should maintain what, when and how. It may also dictate what pets you are allowed, restrictions on changes you can make to the property, even where you are, and are not, allowed to hang your laundry out to dry! There are thousands of freeholders and because of this all leases are not the same. In fact there are probably tens of thousands of differently worded leases in any one city ..."
"...Paying Ground Rent: The freeholder is the person who owns the land beneath the property and the structure itself, you are simple leasing a section of it. As such he will usually charge you rent for this land. The term for this is Ground Rent. The amount you will need to pay varies dramatically but for flats it is usually between £10 and £500 per year. The lease can allow for this amount to increase as the length of the lease decreases. ..."
"...Paying a Service Charge: This is usual where the building has been split into flats or has been built as a block of flats. The freeholder is responsible for maintaining the external structure from repainting the external walls to replacing the roof. It's the dull and boring side of being a freeholder and so he often hires managing agents to do the job for him. Whether or not he does, you will need to contribute towards these costs. He is responsible for doing them but you are responsible for providing the funds. The exact ins and outs of how this works, what he is responsible for, what percentage you must contribute and a whole lot more are laid out in the lease. ..."
"...Extending the Lease: You may not be particularly happy about giving the property back to the freeholder after seventy years. The good news is that whether he wants it or not, if you have used the property as your main residency for the last year, you can force an extension on the lease. There will be a fee and this is usually calculated at what the property is worth now compared to how much it will be worth after the extension is granted. As such a twenty year extension on a property with a one hundred year lease is considerably cheaper than it would be on a property with a fifty year lease. As an example increasing a lease length from one hundred years to one hundred and twenty years may increase the value of the property by £2,000. In other words an amount too small to be recognisable . A reasonable fee for the freeholder to charge you would be £2,000 plus legal and administrative costs. For a fifty year lease the extension may increase the value of the property by £50,000. and so that would be the fee (again plus legal and administrative costs). If your freeholder wants an unreasonably large some it is possible to demand arbitration. A "reasonable" amount will be decided and both parties must abide by it. ..."
"...Making Changes to the Property: You are in essence renting the property for a number of years. When, theoretically, you come to give it back the freeholder will reasonably expect it to look they way it did when he sold the lease. As such any substantial changes must be approved by the freeholder in writing. These might be the removal of a door or the addition of a conservatory. If it makes a difference to what is on the lease, you'll need his permission. He will grant this in writing by either producing a new lease or by issuing a deed of variation ..."
"... you'll need his permission. He will grant this in writing by either producing a new lease or by issuing a deed of variation - Share of freehold - With all the charges to pay and restrictions to adhere to on a leasehold property it is not surprising that many Leaseholders decide..."
"...With all the charges to pay and restrictions to adhere to on a leasehold property it is not surprising that many Leaseholders decide that they would like to own the freehold of the building in which they live. Under certain conditions they have the right to buy the freehold from the freeholder at a "reasonable" price. It's a lengthy procedure but increasing in popularity, especially as it has a perception of adding value or desirability to a property. ..."
"...Any buyer should be aware that just because one flat in a building is Share of freehold, it does not follow that they all are. If you take a building with four flats - A, B, C and D. Flats A, B and C may decide they want to buy the freehold but Flat D wants nothing to do with it. Once A, B and C have successfully purchased the freehold Flat D will still be a leaseholder but will now have to pay charges to the other three flats. ..."
"...The administrative side is carried out by setting up a company that is registered at Companies House. This is usually under the name of the building, e.g. 25 Free Street would be registered as 25 Free Street Ltd. Accounts must be submitted annually and so if a property has been share of freehold for a number of years you can check it's financial history online at Companies House to see if has been well managed. ..."
"... for a number of years you can check it's financial history online at Companies House to see if has been well managed. The characteristics of a Share of freehold are: Owning Shares: If you buy a Share of Freehold property you will also be buying shares in the freehold company, 25 Free..."
"...Owning Shares: If you buy a Share of freehold property you will also be buying shares in the freehold company, 25 Free Street Ltd in the example above. The shares will have been issued when the leaseholders bought out the freeholder. They may have simply split them equally (one third each in the example above) or unequally if there is a difference in floor space between the flats. To demonstrate this Flat A may be the top two floors at 25 Free Street while Flats B and C are only on one floor each. As such Flat A may get 50% of the shares and Flats B and C would get 25% each. While that is very nice for Flat A it would also mean that the owner would be responsible for 50% of the maintenance and repair costs! ..."
"...Lease Length and Value: Despite being share of freehold the flats in the above example are still leaseholders. The difference is that they are leaseholders to a freehold company and each one of them owns a share of that company. This means that if the leases are starting to look short on years they can simply agree amongst themselves to grant each other a fifty year extension for say £1 each! As such lease length and value have little connection in a Share of freehold Property. ..."
"... length and value have little connection in a Share of Freehold Property. Paying Ground Rent: The partners in a share of freehold may still decide to pay a nominal ground rent to the registered company that they own. Paying a Service Charge: It is up to the partners in a share of freehold how..."
"...Paying a Service Charge: It is up to the partners in a share of freehold how they pay for the maintenance of the building. There is no right or wrong way but if the freehold company has no savings it would be wise for you to set up your own separate private account just in case the roof decides it has seen better days! The most popular methods for financing a Share of freehold property are: ..."
"...Making Changes to the Property: Many people confuse Share of freehold with total freedom! Someone who owns a share of freehold is still a leaseholder and must get the permission of the "freeholder" before making any substantial or structural changes to their property. This means agreement from all those in the building who have a percentage stake in the freehold company. As such staying friendly with your neighbours is far more important in a share of freehold situation than if you are a leaseholder! Once again any agreed changes must be spelt out either in a new lease or in a deed of variation. ..."
"... than if you are a leaseholder! Once again any agreed changes must be spelt out either in a new lease or in a deed of variation. - freehold - This is the simplest type of property. You own it all and the ground it sits on. It is not necessary to set up any company or pay anyone..."
"... that is not insured, its all down to you to find the cash! Some solicitors see freehold properties as so much easier to deal with that they actually refuse to handle transactions involving leasehold or share of freehold properties. - Making an Offer on a Property - Once you have some..."
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"... was a structural part of the property. The Lease (Leasehold and Share of freehold Only) - This comes from the vendor's solicitor and defines what the freeholder expects from you as a leaseholder. See Chapter 14: Viewing Properties and Making Offers Service Charge Accounts (Leasehold Only) -..."
"...Ground Rent Receipts (Leasehold Only) - the ground rent is a charge made by the freeholder. Again the last three years receipts will be sought by your solicitor in order to make sure the premiums are not excessive or rising sharply. Any debts that the vendor may have with the freeholder are identified here and are also extremely important. As with the service charge, ground rent debts are also based on the property. If you buy when there are outstanding debts they will become your responsibility. ..."
"...License to Assign (Leasehold Only) - for most purchases this is a formality. It is a document from the managing agents or freeholder saying they accept you as the new leaseholder. There are some blocks, however, where you will have to provide character references, proof of your financial status and sometimes even attend for an interview. They are rare and, more often than not, in the upmarket apartments of Mayfair and Kensington. ..."
"...Deeds of Variation (Leasehold Only) - when a lease needs to be changed the freeholder may decide that writing an entirely new lease is timely and costly. As such they will issue a deed of variation to the lease to confirm that something in the lease is not true or to make an addition to the lease. ..."
"...Share Certificate (Share of freehold Only) - where the property you are buying is Share of freehold you are essentially buying into a percentage of the freehold. The freehold company you are becoming part of is a Limited Company registered at Companies house. As such your part ownership of the freehold must be recognised legally and to do this all the other parties who own a percentage of that freehold must agree to issue you with shares. ..."
"... may be that he has withheld the cleaning charge because no cleaning has occurred! Leasehold only: The vendor owes the freeholder money but is refusing to pay it because he is in dispute with them. Leasehold only: The freeholder is absent (has gone missing and no one knows where they..."
"... is in dispute with them. Leasehold only: The freeholder is absent (has gone missing and no one knows where they are!) and so no ground rent payments have been made. Your solicitor may be concerned that he will reappear and want to claim the outstanding debt from you. Leasehold only: Your..."
"... he will reappear and want to claim the outstanding debt from you. Leasehold only: Your solicitor does not think a deed of variation is adequately worded and wants a new one drawn up. The freeholder is offended and refuses to do so - Requesting Further Enquiries - With so many pitfalls in..."
"... With so many pitfalls in the documentation it is not surprising that your solicitor may want to ask further questions of the vendor, his managing agents or his freeholder. Much of this comes from the fact that there are no definitive protocols for the forms and documents that pass between them. ..."
"...If your solicitor is not based in, or familiar with, the area in which you are buying they may not know about local regulations. As such they request documents that do not exist. The vendors' solicitor does not reply for exactly that reason but your solicitor sits and waits for the document that isn't coming. The most common is planning permission. Many solicitors are unaware, for example, that you can build an extension on a freehold house in certain conservation areas up to ten percent of the volume of the original house or fifty cubic metres (whichever is greater) . As such they waste time swapping letters in an endless attempt to find planning consent on something that requires no approval. ..."
"... Approval (where applicable): From the vendor or, if he does not have them, from the local council. The Lease (Leasehold and Share of freehold only): From the freeholder or freehold company. Service Charge Accounts (Leasehold only): From the managing agents or from the freeholder if he has..."
"... (Leasehold and Share of Freehold only): From the freeholder or freehold company. Service Charge Accounts (Leasehold only): From the managing agents or from the freeholder if he has not appointed managing agents. Ground Rent Receipts (Leasehold only): From the freeholder. License to Assign..."
"... Accounts (Leasehold only): From the managing agents or from the freeholder if he has not appointed managing agents. Ground Rent Receipts (Leasehold only): From the freeholder. License to Assign (Leasehold only): From the freeholder. Deeds of Variation (Leasehold and Share of Freehold only,..."
"... the freeholder if he has not appointed managing agents. Ground Rent Receipts (Leasehold only): From the freeholder. License to Assign (Leasehold only): From the freeholder. Deeds of Variation (Leasehold and Share of Freehold only, where applicable): From the freeholder or the freehold..."
"... only): From the freeholder. License to Assign (Leasehold only): From the freeholder. Deeds of Variation (Leasehold and Share of freehold only, where applicable): From the freeholder or the freehold company. Share Certificate (Share of Freehold only): From the freehold company. What Can Go..."
"... Variation (Leasehold and Share of Freehold only, where applicable): From the freeholder or the freehold company. Share Certificate (Share of freehold only): From the freehold company. What Can Go Wrong With paperwork to come from so many different sources it is little wonder that it can..."
"... been changed within the last three years and the previous agents are refusing to pass on any documentation. Leasehold only: The freeholder is extremely slow to provide ground rent receipts Leasehold only: The freeholder is absent (has gone missing and no one knows where they are!) and so no..."
"... only: The freeholder is extremely slow to provide ground rent receipts Leasehold only: The freeholder is absent (has gone missing and no one knows where they are!) and so no ground rent payments have been made. Share of Freehold Only: Some of the parties who own part of the freehold are..."
"... knows where they are!) and so no ground rent payments have been made. Share of freehold Only: Some of the parties who own part of the freehold are absent and cannot be found so it is not possible to issue a share certificate Share of Freehold Only: The company has been very badly run and..."
"... be found so it is not possible to issue a share certificate Share of freehold Only: The company has been very badly run and accounts are missing so it is not possible to see how much the running costs of the building have been - Replying to Enquiries - As described in Your Solicitor..."
"... consent or building regulation approval if structural changes or additions have been made to the property Leasehold only: Who the managing agents are and who the freeholder is Share of Freehold only: The last three years accounts Share of Freehold only: A share certificate Details of..."
"... or additions have been made to the property Leasehold only: Who the managing agents are and who the freeholder is Share of freehold only: The last three years accounts Share of Freehold only: A share certificate Details of these documents can be found in Your Solicitor above What..."
"... only: Who the managing agents are and who the freeholder is Share of Freehold only: The last three years accounts Share of freehold only: A share certificate Details of these documents can be found in Your Solicitor above What Can Go Wrong The vendor has not instructed a..."
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Chapter 19: Time Costs Deals
"...Sonya and Mark instructed a solicitor who was not only painfully slow, but also painfully thorough to the extent that the sale dragged on for ten weeks. Their solicitor added new enquiries each week including a request that the freeholder should have all the windows in the building assessed, and get quotes for repainting and repairs, before they would exchange. ..."
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"...Ironically the surveyor is simply someone who is trained to see tell tale signs that then require you to get a further specialist in. If you want to be thorough and save time then get a valuation survey and at the same time pay for a roofer, plumber, electrician and damp specialist to inspect the property (for freehold properties pay a structural engineer as well). You will short-cut the long survey report and you will know the absolute worst case scenario as each specialist going in will be hunting for work. Then you can take a proper quantified view. ..."
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"...Managing agents come in all shapes and sizes from large companies to individuals who buy up freeholds. They can be helpful or down right awkward. If there seem to be delays in getting the information your solicitor needs, ask for the contact details and chase them yourself. If you, the vendor, and both the solicitors are chasing then the managing agents are more likely to respond quickly in order to get all four of you off their backs! ..."
"... one thing that can help with stress free selling it is to get a survey done on a property before selling. In the case of a Leasehold or Share of freehold property, a homebuyers survey In the case of a Freehold property, a structural survey The reason smart vendors do this is two..."
"... done on a property before selling. In the case of a Leasehold or Share of Freehold property, a homebuyers survey In the case of a freehold property, a structural survey The reason smart vendors do this is two fold: They can address any problems which come up in the survey before..."
"...This is especially useful with freehold properties where the surveyor may question how structurally sound the property is. In this instance if there is a problem the vendor can get the opinion of a structural engineer long before your surveyor even steps through the door. A structural engineer is more highly qualified than a surveyor in these matters so the green light here will most certainly not be questioned by your surveyor. ..."

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