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Happy New Year to you! Thinking about the year ahead?

As we step into a New Year, it can be a time of reflection. After
celebrating and spending time with family over Christmas, you might be
thinking about what the future will hold.

Should your New Years Resolution be to get your affairs in order?

Regardless of your age, planning ahead and putting your wishes in place will
provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. That will certainly lift
those January blues, when the highs of Christmas are over. Creating a Will
or a Power of Attorney may seem like an odd way to shake away the January
blues, but you could be ensuring the future of your loved ones – whatever
your wishes, will be granted.

Could 2018 be the year that you buy your dream home?

Maybe you’ve been thinking of moving house and 2018 might be
the year to take action. Once you find that perfect property, we can
certainly help you with the legal side of things. Our specialist,
Conveyancing team will look after the legal (and sometimes stressful) side
of your move. We work to get things moving for you, whilst you can get on
with packing your boxes and choosing your wallpaper! Our experienced and
award-winning Conveyancing team will manage everything from searches,
deposits and signing contracts, to Exchange and final Completion. Fidler &
Pepper have a dedicated team and we’ll keep you updated 24/7 with our
secure, online case tracker.

Need a helping hand or a chat with one of our team?

If you’d like to get your affairs in order or have plans to buy, sell or
remortgage your property then come and see one of our specialist team.
Alternatively, you can give us a call on 01623 45 11 11 or visit www.fidler.co.uk

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Beginners Guides, Buy to let, Buy your freehold, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, leasehold, Leasehold Conveyancing Quote, Leasehold extension, Property Report, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments


What is Freehold Ownership?

Freehold means that you will be the sole owner of the property as well as being the owner of the land the property sits on and is surrounded by. This is often preferred for many buyers as you will not have to pay any additional ground rent or service charges. As the freeholder you are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the building but you will have control over when the repairs are made.

What is Leasehold Ownership?

Leasehold means that you are buying the right to use the property from the freeholder or ‘Landlord’ (the person who owns the building and land it resides on) for an agreed number of years. Leasehold is typically how flats and maisonettes are sold but is also used for houses both new and old.

If you own a leasehold flat or house you are likely to be required to pay ground rent, maintenance fees and annual service charges either on a monthly or annual basis to the freeholder. Sometimes these rents can be very low especially on very old properties but the fees can also range up to and over ₤1000 year and even more in London.

All leases are different so make sure your Conveyancer explains this thoroughly and you understand your responsibilities to the Landlord

  • You may have to gain permission from the freeholder if you want to undertake any major works on your property such as replacing your windows or extending the property
  • You may need to gain permission if you wish to rent the property out
  • Leases can be as short as 40 years or as long as 999 years – but the longer the better
  • If you require a mortgage then the lease usually needs to be to be at least 80 years
  • Leases can be extended or you can apply to buy the freehold of the property from the Landlord but the shorter the time remaining on the lease then the then more costly this becomes

Are you somewhere in the middle?

In the world of Conveyancing, there’s always another option to consider. Often freehold houses, especially on new build estates are sold as freehold but there is a clause in the title giving the responsibility to maintaining the communal areas on the estate such as shared drives, car parks and open spaces to a Management Company. Generally you would, if there is a Management Company, be liable to pay a yearly service charge to the company for its services. Remember to check the small print for any hidden costs even if a property is advertised as freehold.

Have any further questions?

Our specialist team have extensive experience dealing with both leasehold and freehold properties. Simply give us a call on 01623 45 11 11 and we will be happy to help you further.

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flat block


Owning the freehold means that you own the land and the building on the land.

If you own a leasehold property the land is owned by the freeholder known as the landlord and the leaseholder, the tenant, owns the property the term of the lease. When if the lease expires, the property returned back to the ownership of the landlord.

Leasehold properties are common and are very useful when you need to have rules in place regarding the management of common areas, say a block of flats, as the leaseholders will each own their flat but the landlord will continue to own the structure and the common parts such as the staircases, the gardens, parking areas etc  and each of the leaseholders will generally be required to pay towards the upkeep of such.

If you are planning to buy or sell a leasehold property please contact our specialist leasehold team as they would be happy to provide you with a fixed fee quote.

Christie Limb







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When we act on the sale of a leasehold property one of issue we often come up against a is the management pack. With a leasehold property the owner of the property owns the building but not the land and this is retained by the landlord otherwise known as the freeholder. The freeholder will have control over the common areas such as landings stairs gardens etc, these are generally managed be a management company who then charge the flat owners a charge known as a service charge. . When the property is being sold the seller will be requested by the buyer to provide a management pack and this will detail the service charge for the property, what services are provided, what anticipated service charges are for the future etc.

The problem we have is that the management company can charge varying sums for such packs and quite often the seller has not allowed for this is the sale fees.  We are not able to tell the seller at the outset what the cost of the management pack will be until the management company have informed us and most management companies charge different amounts.  the other issue with the management pack is that it can take time to come through.

At Fidler and pepper we have a dedicated team that deal with leasehold property and will try and obtain the management oack for you right at the outset to avoid delays.

If you are planning to sell a leasehold property then please contact Maddie Sault our specialist leasehold fee eraner and she would be more than happy to provide you with a fixed fee quote for the work.




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What is a leasehold property

blog image high rise flat

A leasehold property is different to a freehold property as rather than buying the actual property what you are buying is a lease to live in the property for a number of years.


The lease will details all the areas that you own but generally you will not own common areas such as stairs, common gardens etc as these will still be owned by the freeholder. The freeholder is the person who owns the title to the property and this will be your landlord.


The landlord will often employ a management company who will handle the day to say running of the common parts, such as maintenance of the communal gardens, the decoration of the common parts like the stairs.


On buying a leasehold property the buyer will enter into a lease of the property with the landlord and this will clearly detail what property you are going to be able to occupy and what rights you have over the common areas.


The purchase of a leasehold property is generally more complicated than a purchase of a freehold property as there are extra documents to consider including the lease.


Your solicitors will


– check the lease and ensure that the terms are correct for example they will check the mortgage term and see if the length of term is appropriate and if not advise you on whether the lease should be extended.


–         check the terms the lease to ensure that none of the obligations are too onerous


–         check that the rent is fixed and easy to establish


–         ensure that there are appropriate provisions for insurance. As you will have the right to occupy the property it will be important that the insurance provisions for the whole building are appropriate


–         check that there are appropriate rights granted for the enjoyment of the property such as rights of access, rights of support and protection


–         check that there are no unreasonable restrictions in the lease


It is important that you seek specialist advice when buying a leasehold property and at Fidler and Pepper we have a specialist leasehold team. If you are thinking of buying a leasehold property then please click here to obtain an online quote and also feel free to call on 01623 451111 if you have a questions.



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As a property lawyer there is a tendency to forget that clients do not have the same depth of knowledge as myself so I have taken it upon myself to produce brief guides on the basics.

I deal predominantly with residential and commercial lease and there are many different types of transactions that involve leasehold elements.

Concentrating on residential leases, you can purchase either a leasehold flat or house although leasehold houses are not as common as flats.

Some shared ownership schemes incorporate leasehold elements to allow you to get on the housing ladder with the owner taking a lease over the property with the housing provider retaining the freehold of the property.

Essentially, when you instruct a solicitor for a leasehold transaction this will fall into the following main categories:

1.    Leasehold Sale; or

2.    Leasehold Purchase; or

3.    Shared Ownership scheme purchase.

I have drafted separate blogs detailing the specifics of what is involved in each the 3 options above so please view them on the Fidler & Pepper website. Alternatively contact me directly on 01623 451111 or email on wjames@fidler.co.uk

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As a property lawyer I often get asked similar questions so thought it would be a good idea to publish a guide surrounding the most common type of questions.

One common question is what actually is a leasehold property?

The majority of houses that are bought and sold in the UK are either leasehold or freehold properties.

The majority of leasehold properties are flats which may be in purpose-built blocks, converted houses or part of commercial or retail premises.

Leasehold houses are much rarer but are often in a street or development of houses which all come under the same freeholder. In the case of houses, many owners have since bought the freehold

A leasehold is basically a very long tenancy or right to occupy a property for a defined amount of time. You own this right rather than the bricks, morter and land that the property stands on.

Leasehold properties may be owned by either individuals or companies, and sometimes by housing associations or local authorities.

With a leasehold property there is always a freehold title that the leasehold title has been granted from. The freehold title will be owned by the freeholder or landlord. There will be a lease document governing the relationship that the tenant has with the freeholder. Please see other topics in the frequently asked questions for more information on this.

The Freeholder is generally responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the building.

If you are considering purchasing a leasehold propety and want some further advice or indications of the likely cost associated with this, please drop me a line on 01623451111 or email me at wjames@fidler.co.uk 



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Many of the clients that we get through the Fidler and Pepper door who are purchasing leasehold property are not aware of the additional requirements that they have when they purchase leasehold property. In particular the fact that they have to pay service charge and ground rent and who they have to pay it to.

As a leasehold flat owner, you usually own and are responsible for the maintenance of everything within its four walls, including floor boards and plasterwork, but not usually the external or structural walls.

The landlord, who can be a person, a company, a local authority or a housing association, owns the structure and common parts of the building and the land it stands on and is responsible for its maintenance.

Some landlords carry out the management of the property themselves but many appoint a

managing agent to manage and maintain the building on behalf of the landlord in accordance with the terms of the lease, current relevant legislation and codes of practice

The agent takes instruction from the landlord, not the leaseholders, but should be constantly aware of the leaseholders’ wishes and requirements. The agent will receive a fee which is usually paid by leaseholders as part of the service charges.

If there is a problem with management services, the leaseholder’s argument is not with the agent but with the landlord, who has ultimate responsibility for the full and proper management of the property

If you have any questions in relation to the above or are considering purchasing a leasehold flat and want advice in the conveyancing of this please drop me a line on 10623451111 or email me direct on wjames@fidler.co.uk.

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