First-time buyers


Freehold, Leasehold and Commonhold

Most houses are owned on a freehold basis, which means you own the property and the land it stands on.  Flats are usually owned leasehold where you own the right to occupy the property for a period of time, after which it reverts to the freeholder.  With leasehold, the freeholder is responsible for maintaining the common parts of the building, for which the leaseholders pay a service charge and ground rent.  The leaseholders are obliged to keep the property in good condition, however…
Commonhold is a very new form of ownership.  The individual flats will be held on a freehold basis by their owners, while the common parts – such as staircases, hallways and gardens – will be owned and managed by the flat owners in the form of a limited company called a commonhold association.  It involves a complicated legal process to switch from leasehold to commonhold, however, so apply to new developments, rather than existing ones.





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