Buying and selling a house is one of the most significant transactions you’ll make in your life – and it can certainly be a complex matter. The emotional investment made in pleasing all sides of the equation as you race towards the finishing line can be significant, so it helps if you can confidently navigate the jargon that can be thrown around.
It’s even more helpful if your solicitor puts things into clear speaking terms, too! On that note, we’re here to help you jargon bust some of the finer points of residential conveyancing:
1. FreeholdThe freeholder of a property owns it – and the land it’s built on – outright. This means that the freeholder is responsible for the maintenance of all aspects of the property and its land. In many (but not all) cases, houses are freehold.
2. LeaseholdA leasehold will see you own the property for an agreed length of time – because you are effectively “leasing” the land that it sits on from the person who owns the land. This person is referred to as the “freeholder” or “landlord.” The vast majority of apartments and maisonettes are leasehold. Many people consider a “service charge” to be part and parcel of a leasehold arrangement, but they are, in fact, two very separate things. Service charges exist in buildings where there are common parts to maintain and insure. These buildings are often run by a managing agent who levies the charges with a fee on top for their account management.
3. Flying freeholdA flying freehold defines a part of freehold ownership that is above or below another part of the same building that has a different freehold ownership. It could be a balcony, a cellar or a common passageway. Also known as “creeping” freeholds, these arrangements can be problematic. For example, it would be difficult to enforce action on the adjoining freehold property if maintenance problems were affecting your freehold.
We’ve just dipped the very tip of our toe into the conveyancing world here. Do check back next month for more terms made simple! In the meantime, if you need help with your property sale or purchase in the Scarborough, Whitby and York areas, please do get in touch.