Living in a leasehold flat: what can you do about high service charges?
If your freeholder says you should pay thousands of pounds in repairs, do you have to pay up?
In these tough times most people need to budget for household expenses; whether it’s insurance, repairs or improvements. But if you live in a leasehold flat, it’s not that easy. Although it’s your home, it’s the landlord (or freeholder) who has a big say in how much you need to spend in upkeep and repairs. But there are steps you can take if the charges are unfair. Here's what you can do.
Buying a leasehold flat; how to avoid the problems with high service charges or costly repair bills.
What to look for when you're buying a leasehold flat; how to avoid large repair or service charges.
Have you ever read a lease? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Every year thousands of people buy leasehold flats without having much idea of what they’re letting themselves in for. In many parts of England and Wales, if you want to buy a flat, the only option is to buy one that’s leasehold. The lease is the legal contract you sign up to when you buy but many people don't see a copy of theirs until after they've bought the property.
Getting the best from an estate agent: how to get an estate agent on your side.
If you're buying a property, you can still get the seller's estate agent to work for you.
Many of us find out what’s available and how far our money will go by searching online. But when it comes to getting to the front of the queue for properties coming on the market, it’s worth remembering that buying and selling houses is still a ‘people’ business. Estate agents are paid by sellers but you can still get them to work for you, if you’re a buyer. Estate agents I’ve spoken to all say the key is to meet them face-to-face.