Can Freeholders Take Me Court?

Table of Contents

What powers does a freeholder have?

A freeholders' responsibilities can include all or a combination of the following activities:

  • Repairs and maintenance to the structure of the building (including the roof and guttering) and any communal areas.
  • Arranging internal and external cleaning, painting and decorating.
  • What rights does a freeholder have?

    This blog will look at 5 common areas that are the responsibility of the freeholder.

  • Repairs and Maintenance to Building Structure.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance of Communal Areas.
  • Ground Rent and Service Charges.
  • Building Insurance.
  • Management Reports.
  • What can freeholders do?

    The freeholder is usually responsible for: repairs to the building's structure, including the roof and guttering, repairs to shared parts of the building, such as lifts and communal stairways, buildings insurance (to protect the entire building from accidents and disasters such as fire or flood).

    Related Question Can freeholders take me court?

    Do freeholders own the building?

    The structure and common parts of the building and the land it stands on are usually owned by the freeholder, also known as the landlord. The freeholder is, normally, responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building.

    Are freeholders landlords?

    You will own your flat or apartment on a lease, but the freeholder will own the property outright. Freeholders are usually responsible for the repair and maintenance of the exterior and common parts of the building. A freeholder is also referred to as a landlord.

    How does a freeholder make money?

    Freeholders are totally unregulated and can make huge amounts of money from the so-called 'service' they force upon leaseholders. Often they do this by employing companies they own or get kickbacks from to carry out the maintenance work and provide insurance – effectively paying themselves.

    Can a freeholder refuse consent?

    If the freeholder owns the external fabric they can almost certainly refuse you consent to alter it or charge you a fee if they do consent. The calculations are very much the same as they are with loft conversions and are often referred to as 'development valuations' or, for the technically minded, residual valuations.

    Can I refuse to pay service charge property?

    If you can't pay your service charge, or you've fallen into arrears, you should contact the landlord or management company of your property to discuss your options for repaying the arrears. If you don't take steps to deal with the arrears, the freeholder could take court action and you could lose your home.

    Is freeholder responsible for blocked drain?

    The flat owner or tenant is usually responsible for drains within the flat. The freeholder or management company is then responsible for the drains up to the property boundary and Thames Water for all the drains beyond that.

    How many people can own a freehold?

    It is a legal right to be able to take over the freehold, as long as you have at least half of the other residents willing to also do so. Share of freehold can be a solution if you and the other leaseholders have issues with how your building is being run by the freeholder.

    Can freeholder take my property?

    A freeholder may only repossess a property for breach of the lease if the lease allows for forfeiture proceedings to be used. Forfeiture is a way in which a freeholder can evict a leaseholder if they break a condition of the lease, such as not paying the ground rent or service charges.

    Do freeholders pay ground rent?

    Benefits of having a freehold

    deal with the freeholder (often known as the landlord) pay ground rent, services charges or any other landlord charges.

    Can you be charged ground rent on a freehold property?

    Property sales are either on a leasehold or freehold basis. When you buy a freehold property you own the property and the land it sits on. If your property is a leasehold property you'll have to pay an annual charge, known as ground rent, to the person who owns the freehold.

    Why do leaseholds exist?

    Why does leasehold exist? Flats are commonly leasehold because this provides a way to impose certain conditions on both the leaseholders and the freeholder. The leasehold arrangement ensures that common areas are maintained and that leaseholders are obligated to contribute to the cost of maintenance.

    Can the freeholder build above my flat?

    My freeholder is planning to add another floor above my flat. Your freeholder would need planning and building regulations consents. You could object to an application for planning permission, unless it is a term of your lease that you will not object to any such planning applications being made by the freeholder.

    How do you find out who owns your freehold?

    You can find out if your ownership is leasehold or freehold in the legal documents from when you bought the property. If you can't find them, you could look up your property via Land Registry. Generally, flats in London are sold on a leasehold basis and most houses are freehold.

    Can a freeholder force a leaseholder to sell?

    Yes – with enfranchisement, leaseholders can force freeholders to sell their freehold interest. RFR is an opportunity for those leaseholders to buy that interest before the freeholder offers it to a third party. Unlike enfranchisement, leaseholders cannot initiate the action – they can only respond under RFR.

    Is the freeholder responsible for the windows?

    If your lease does not say that it is your individual responsibility to repair your windows in your flat, what that means is all leaseholders are expected to pay a share of the cost of works to any windows in your building in exactly the same way as they would be expected to share the cost of repairs to the roof.

    Are leaseholds a good investment?

    What's a good Leasehold? As previously mentioned, any lease with less than 80 years can have a negative impact on your overall investment – making it harder to secure a mortgage and potentially pushing property prices down. In terms of a good lease, anything over 80 that suits your needs is ideal for an investment.

    Can I rent out a leasehold property?

    Even if you own the leasehold property outright, the lease may still prohibit you from subletting so you will still need permission from the freeholder. Leaseholders in London also need to be aware that they cannot let out their property for more than 90 days a year under the Greater London Council Act 1973.

    Is 100 year lease good?

    Here is how the remaining term on the lease should impact on your purchase decision: 100+ Years remaining: If there is more than 100 years remaining on your lease, go ahead with the purchase; you don't need to do anything at this stage. 95-99 years remaining: You're OK to buy.

    Are all leaseholds bad?

    If you've fallen in love with a property that happens to be leasehold, there's no reason you shouldn't go ahead and purchase it. Leases themselves aren't an issue – it's bad leases that are the issue. Terms in your lease mean if you're having any issues, for example with noisy neighbours, this can be dealt with.

    Can freeholder refuse to sell freehold?

    Can a freeholder refuse to sell the freehold? A freeholder can only refuse to sell the freehold if the qualifying requirements are not met. For example, leaseholders may ask if you will sell the freehold to them even if more than 50% of the leaseholders do not wish to participate.

    Is freehold a good investment?

    Apart from the hassle of looking after the property, freehold has always been seen as an attractive investment choice for many investors, as investors have the right to make refurbishments, construct a house extension or, even rebuild the property without requiring the consent of the freeholder.

    Do I need freeholders permission to extend?

    The short answer is no; at the very minimum, you will need to get building control approval so you can't build your extension entirely without permission. However, it could be very straightforward to obtain and does not need to delay you getting started (see below).

    How do you get a license to alter?

  • A description of the works.
  • The programme for the works.
  • Drawings showing the existing and proposed layout.
  • Structural drawings and calculations.
  • Building services drawings.
  • Specifications.
  • Risk assessments and method statements.
  • A copy of the F10 notification.
  • Do I need freeholder permission to remove internal wall?

    Knocking down walls

    If you're keen to get your lump hammer out and alter the internal layout of your apartment, you'll probably need to ask the freeholder/management company for permission because it's classed as a structural alteration.

    Do freeholders have to pay service charge?

    In a private estate, it is common that the homeowners of freehold properties must pay a contribution for the upkeep of the communal areas on the estate. Estate charges or service charges payable by freeholds, are governed by The Rentcharges Act 1977.

    Can you remove a service charge?

    Since the government's clarification on the service charge being voluntary is only a directive and not a law yet, the consumer can move to consumer court if their request for removing the service charge from the final bill is declined.

    What happens if you dont pay for a service?

    Secondly, and most importantly, you have a legal obligation to pay your service charge and therefore if it is not paid this could ultimately lead to legal action being taken against you, county court judgements being issued that affect future credit ratings, and in extreme cases possibly even forfeiture of your home.

    Is the freeholder responsible for building insurance?

    Is the freeholder responsible for buildings insurance? Normally yes, if you own outright or a share of the freehold of a property, then it is your responsibility to arrange the buildings insurance cover, either direct or (as many freeholders do) through a property management company.

    Who is responsible for smelly drains?

    Sewers and lateral drains connected to the public network used to be the responsibility of the property owner. However, most are now maintained by local water companies. If you have any problems with your sewer or lateral drain, for example if it's blocked, contact your local water company.

    Are drains a landlord's responsibility?

    Gas and electricity, Pipes and drains: most of the time, unless stated in the agreement, the landlord is responsible for maintaining water, gas and electricity. This includes heating systems, showers, flues, drains, pipes, toilets, ventilation and electricity. The tenant is responsible for any appliances they own.

    What happens when freehold runs out?

    When the leasehold expires, the property reverts to a freehold property, where it is under the ownership of the freeholder in addition to you no longer having the right to stay there.

    What happens to my lease if I buy the freehold?

    Plus leaseholders must pay ground rent (usually small) and service charges (often a fair whack) to the freeholder. Buy the freehold and you can usually extend the lease to 999 years for free. Flat-owners with a share of freehold still have a lease. They could still need to extend (though it should be free).

    What is a freehold agreement?

    If you own a property or are looking to buy a property that is freehold this means that you own the whole property and the land it is built on. Owning a freehold property means that you have the right to deal with the land as you wish, subject to laws and planning permissions.

    What is a s146 notice?

    A notice issued under section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925 that warns a tenant who is in breach of covenant (other than the covenant to pay rent) of the landlord's intention to forfeit the lease.

    Who are the freeholders?

    Freeholders were men who either owned their land outright or who held it in a lease for the duration of their life, or the lives of other people named in the lease. The freeholders' records application includes pre-1840 freeholders' registers and poll books.

    Are ground rents to be abolished?


    Legislation to effectively abolish ground rents by reducing them to a peppercorn, is contained in the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament.

    Is ground rent legal?

    As a legal term, ground rent specifically refers to regular payments made by a holder of a leasehold property to the freeholder or a superior leaseholder, as required under a lease. In this sense, a ground rent is created when a freehold piece of land is sold on a long lease or leases.

    How much value does freehold add to property?

    According to surveyors, owning a freehold adds 1% onto the value of a flat when compared against a similar property. But the increase in property value isn't always necessarily a persuasive factor.

    Can the freeholder increase ground rent?

    Can my freeholder increase ground rent? If your lease expressly includes a provision for your ground rent to increase; yes. However, if your ground rent is fixed at a certain level, your freeholder cannot increase your ground rent without your agreement.

    What is a freehold rent charge?

    A rentcharge is an annual sum paid by a freehold homeowner to a third party (“Rent Owner“) who normally has no other interest in the property (“Charged Land”). A freehold development will usually have communal areas (such as a playground, private roads and a car park) which may be managed by a management company.

    Can you redeem an estate rentcharge?

    That person is then left to collect the appropriate portion from the other householders whose land is also subject to the rentcharge. There are two main types of rentcharge: an individual rentcharge (which could be redeemed); and an estate rentcharge (which can't be redeemed).

    What is the minimum lease term?

    Lease periods vary and can be as little as one month to usually not more than 24 months. Short term leases are usually 6 months but sometime 1 month leases may be available. It depends on the price and quality of the lease property.

    How does a freeholder make money?

    Freeholders are totally unregulated and can make huge amounts of money from the so-called 'service' they force upon leaseholders. Often they do this by employing companies they own or get kickbacks from to carry out the maintenance work and provide insurance – effectively paying themselves.

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