If you own a leasehold property you are not the freehold owner of the property. The freehold owner of the property is the individual or organisation that you have made the lease agreement with. A lease is different to a tenancy as it last for a longer period of time. You will own the property for a set number of years as agreed in your lease.
Common Leasehold Properties
Leasehold properties are commonly business premises or residential flats. Sometimes your house may be leasehold but this is generally less common.
Your rights will partially depend upon what you have agreed to via the signing of your lease agreement. To ensure that you do not put yourself in danger of losing your lease you must adhere to the conditions of your lease at all time. The lease agreement will outline lots of terms and conditions for your lease. This will include items such as the right to make adaptions and changes to the property, what your responsibilities are and what the landlord’s responsibilities are, maintenance costs and more.
What May Having A Lease Effect?
- Insurance – your landlord is likely to deal with building insurance but you will have to deal with contents insurance yourself. Make sure you check whether you have got cover for both of these types of insurance, as it is not guaranteed that they will deal with it for you. If you do not have insurance you will be in a difficult situation in the case of a break in or damage to the building e.g. flooding.
- Ground rent – you may or may not be charged ground rent. You do not have to pay ground rent unless your landlord requests it from you. However, if your landlord does request ground rent you are legally obliged to pay it – for up to 6 years prior to the date of the request.
- Unexpected maintenance – you may have to put in money to cover these type of costs and you will not necessarily get any money back if you move out of the building.
- Staying in the building – some leases give you the right to extend the lease and some do not. Your landlord cannot usually evict you from your building, but it is possible in some situations. If you wish to end your lease you can usually do this by giving a month’s notice.
- Buying the building – some leasehold properties give you the ‘right to buy’ others do not. You can consult with your landlord if you are considering purchasing the freehold for your property.
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