You will find that lots of flats are leasehold, including Victorian apartments, new-build properties, converted houses and 1960’s tower blocks.
What does Leasehold mean?
When you purchase a leasehold property, you are buying a legal right (a lease) which gives you effective ownership of the property for a given period of time, (the duration of the lease).
A lease is a contract between the landlord and leaseholder, No two leases are the same, so it’s essential that you, or a solicitor on your behalf, read and understand the contents of your lease.
With a leasehold property, you don’t own the plot of land the flat sits on, you don’t own the ‘fabric’ of the building, e.g. roof, external walls etc. You own the internal space, fittings, floor and walls. The Landlord/Freeholder owns and maintains the outer building & grounds on your behalf – a service you pay for via service charges.
It is important to understand that the ownership of the property is finite, it has an expiry date, meaning that the value of your leased property will go down, year-on-year, as you get closer to the expiration date of the lease and if you allow your lease to expire, you may lose your property altogether.